MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas, the Philippine National Basketball Team, is the runner-up winning the Silver Medal in the recently concluded FIBA Championship. Iran ended up the Gold Medalist with Hamed Haddadi receiving the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.
Philippine player, Jayson Castro, was awarded the Best Point Guard in Asia, one of FIBA Asia’s Mythical Five.
The power team, Gilas Pilipinas, did not disappoint their fans in the jam-packed venue at the Mall of Asia as they played a thrilling and amazing game against the taller Iranians. In basketball, though, height matters, and the 7’2 Haddadi romped away with majority of the rebounds and hooks.
Jimmy Alapag, Jayson Castro, Japeth Aguilar, Gabe Norwood, Lewis Alfred Tenorio and the rest of the team played fiercely but team Iran was just like a big oiled machine that the smaller Pinoy boys could not maneuver. Iran won all of their 9 games, to stay on top of the 2013 FIBA Championship. Jayson Castro, 27, nicknamed “The Blur”, and Japeth Aguilar, 26, are both from Pampanga.
Meanwhile, longtime rival, South Korea ended up with the bronze medal. South Korea has always been one of the teams that the Philippine Team was almost always pitted against, with South Korea winning majority of these encounters. This year, however, Gilas Pilipinas has beaten Korea breaking, what was believed to be a curse.
Pinoys trooped to Twitter to support the home team. Almost anyone who is someone is at the MOA to watch the final game of Team Gilas Pilipinas; even the Philippines’ President Noynoy Aquino.
Iran, the Philippines and South Korea would compete in Spain during the World Competitions in 2014.