Rizal Memorial Pool Hall
May 27, 2013
Made in Taiwan
I was packing my things after another busy day covering billiards, the last stop of a day-long coverage of the Philippine National Games, when I saw a Twitter message from Smart Gilas Pilipinas 2.0 coach Chot Reyes that our national basketball team has been…well, to coin his term, “un-invited” to this year’s Jones Cup in Taiwan in a couple of months.
This was Reyes’ exact message on his Twitter account @coachot:
Reyes also said the escalating tension between the Philippines and Taiwan that emanated from a fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman TRESPASSING our waters near the Balintang Channel off Batanes almost a couple of weeks back was the main reason of the “un-invitation” of our beloved Gilas 2.0 squad.
Seriously? Seriously! Oh come on you guys from Taiwan! You would let this issue spill into, of all things, sports? You got to be kidding us!
This is sad. I mean, I don’t want to dwell on the unfortunate shooting incident. but it was an accident. Our President apologized for it. You rejected our apology that was a clear sign of utter disrespect. You beat our people there in Taiwan. We didn’t beat your people back here in our country. We didn’t do anything to you in retaliation. Then this is what we get? Just wow.
Okay, so be it. By “un-inviting” us, you will lose a crowd drawer like our team. Remember us? The same Gilas team that WHIPPED your asses? The defending champions?
Reyes said it will be another blow to the team’s preparation since we will have to find a replacement tournament for the Jones Cup, a tournament which he said is an integral part of Gilas 2.0’s preparation. But hey, past is past. Let’s move to the future. Let’s talk about today.
And since we will not stoop as low as Taiwan, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will still invite your national basketball team to compete in the FIBA-Asia Championship that we will be hosting at the MOA Arena in Pasay City from Aug. 1 to 11. There is a chance that you will probably reject that too and do the “un-inviting” all by yourself. Self service.
I hope you don’t. But if you decide to come, we will treat your Taiwan team, kindly, hospitably and with the best of our abilities the same way we will treat all the participating countries. Even China, whom we had an ongoing tension too. No thanks to the Scarborough Shoals issue. But unlike you Taiwan, China remains civil to our country. We, in fact, invited Yao Ming and the Shanghai Sharks to even play our Gilas 2.0 and a PBA selection team in a pair of exhibition games. And without incident. Except that the not-so-Great Wall of Yao lost more than gain fans when his towering 7-6, “unsmiling” presence left back to Shanghai. You Taiwan will be extended courtesy that you never showed us. That we promise.
BUT ONLY OUTSIDE THE BASKETBALL COURT. Because when our Gilas 2.0 boys play yours, mark our words, we will WIN and beat the CRAP out of you. And without mercy. Search and destroy. To the pulp. We will make sure that we will lose to any other team but not you Taiwan. That is an assurance and a guarantee.
You want courtesy? We will let our Cadet team play. Right Kevin Alas?
Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar
(Photo courtesy of Smart Gilas Pilipinas)