THE Batang Gilas U-18 team have officially punched their ticket for the FIBA World Cup next year thanks in large part to the endless support given by none other than basketball patron Manny Pangilinan and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio.
Boasting a vaunted young nucleus of Dave Ildefonso, Dalph Panopio, and twin towers AJ Edu and Kai Sotto, the squad bulldozed their way into the tournament and are looking at bringing home a medal despite their blowout loss against the Aussies yesterday.
While the SBP brass couldn’t be more elated about the positive developments, the organization still has a lot of work cut out for them, especially when looking at it in the long run.
“Lahat kasi nakikita ang elite team but what we at SBP would really like to do is a program that will focus on the grassroots because we need a pipeline towards our elite program so it will start really from the grassroots,” explained Panlilio.
With the Philippines being recognized as a basketball-crazy nation, it makes a lot of sense to further develop our national program starting from the grassroots level. Moreover, a change in basketball culture and philosophy will be much-needed if we want to keep up with some of the elite national programs in the world.
And it all starts by picking the right men for the job.