To Kill a Mockingbird

Rizal Memorial Coliseum
September 28, 2014
To Kill a Mockingbird

My wife and I are no teenagers. But like adolescents, we too celebrate a monthsary, which, for those who are as old as us, is the monthly version of an anniversary. Because today, Sept. 28, 2014, is the 21st month since my other half and I tied the knot. And we celebrated by spending the morning with our 11-month-old baby boy, Iago, and watching a movie somewhere later, perhaps that Japanese movie we’ve long waited for.
Along the way, basketball. This time, it’s Gilas Pilipinas versus Kazakhstan. We needed to win by 11 points and hope and pray Korea beats Qatar later to advance to the semifinals of the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. Destiny seemed to be favoring us when we led by 18 points. In the end, it was not to be as we beat the Kazakhs but couldn’t win by the margin we want. So we’re out of the medal race. Good luck to Kazakhstan and Qatar, or whichever makes it that far.
The saddest part of this game was what happened in the end. Up by two points with seconds remaining, we tried to score on the basket of our opponent to tie it and send the game into overtime where we hope to get the 11-point lead that we craved for. Mercifully, that Marcus Douthit shot was correctly nullified by the referees. Kazakhstan, realizing it, didn’t cooperate also and intentionally missed two potentially game-tying free throws to give us the win.
That win though felt like a loss. And every inch of me revolted with the way we went down. Call it tragic. Or a disaster. Worse, a mockery of the game we all love. I’d rather lose with dignity than win without one. It is embarrassing, humiliating. Hard to find the words to describe what I’m feeling right now. It happened so fast. I never imagined to live to see our beloved Gilas team to play in the world stage only to fall like this. A bitter pill to swallow. This is death by basketball.
But just like life, there are defeats.
And sometimes, we have to live with it and move on.
So I will not resort to blaming people after this. Because in the end, everyone behind the Gilas Pilipinas program are still heroes to me. And, from the bottom of my broken heart, we are in gratitude to you. And I dedicate this ode of a roll call to everyone.
Thank you Manny V. Pangilinan.
Thank you Chot Reyes.
Thank you Jimmy Alapag.
Thank you Marcus Douthit.
Thank you LA Tenorio.
Thank you Gary David.
Thank you Japeth Aguilar.
Thank you Jeff Chan.
Thank you Gabe Norwood.
Thank you Ranidel de Ocampo.
Thank you Marc Pingris.
Thank you June Mar Fajardo.
Thank you Paul Lee.
Thank you Jared Dillinger.

Thank you Gilas Pilipinas!

Follow Sportsmaryosep on Twitter: @JoeySVillar

(Photo courtesy of Jun Mendoza of The Philippine STAR)


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