Year after year, Filipino hoops fans support the various versions of the country’s national squad – no matter who happens to be on it. Let’s face it; we’re a hoop-crazed community longing for recognition on the international stage.
The 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup just ended and everyone witnessed action. Our team, now sponsored by Chooks-To-Go, finished 4-3 in the tournament for an overall 5th place ranking. We may not have won a championship, but lessons were definitely learned in this young team’s quest for glory.
Here’s our PlayPH guide to the latest iteration of the Gilas squad:
The Teng Bros.
The Teng Bros together. On one team.
It’s what college hoop fans always dreamt of. Not so long ago, Jeric Teng was the King Tiger for UST. Across the board was his younger brother, Jeron, who would later on become DLSU’s main man. As fate would have it, UST and DLSU met in the finals of 2013. It was an instant classic, as both Tengs led their teams the entire series. DLSU beat UST and this is where everyone witnessed the iconic Jeric Teng pass on the torch to his younger brother.
Now they join forces in representing the flag. What’s not to love?
There’s at least, two ways to enjoy watching this phenom play. One is to act like you’ve never seen him put on a show before and be all surprised when he goes for something like an emphatic dunk or an acrobatic lay-in.
And then there’s how you can totally expect his greatness. The moment Kiefer pulls something off, look to the person to your right and give him a “he did it again” look. That’s the overall experience watching him go to work. It’s all too amazing.
The New Guy
Seven-foot-one Isaiah Austin could arguably be the best import we’ve seen play. He’s showing a few moves similar to those of the Supersonics version of Kevin Durant, mixed with hints of the Greak Freak. He’s putting up a solid 20 points-per-game and a flirting with 15 boards each night. It’s impressive, the way he sizes defenders up, staring them down from behind the arc, before using his length and ultra-steps to make short work of the defense and finish strong at the basket.
Not bad for a rookie.
THE POWER OF PUSO
As fans, we can never underestimate the power of PUSO. Our boys, no matter the odds or the outcome, will always fight ‘til the final buzzer. Loose-ball-dives, hard rebounds, and all those little things make up the game of the team known for heart. Expect puso, day in and day out.
That’s what the whole brand of Philippine basketball has become, and forever will be. Wherever the latest Team Gilas goes, we know that a grateful nation will be there to support them.
Image Sources: FIBA