I was reading today’s paper (Phil. Daily Inquirer, March 10) and my attention was grabbed by a letter sender lamenting the fact that half of the 12 men basketball team that the Philippines will be fielding in next year’s Beijing Olympics are “foreign-born and-bred imports who, after acquiring Filipino citizenship, have qualified to play in the Philippine Basketball Association and represent the Philippines in regional and international basketball competitions.”
Now, why is that? Why would a country do that? Isn’t it better not to send a team at all rather than to send a team composed of aliens representing the nation and the flag? The problem is that our sports policy makers still think it proper to invest money on a sport that we will never be competitive with. I’m not saying that we could never be good basketball players; we are indeed outstanding basketball players in our own class. But we should accept the fact that we could never compete with the taller and more powerful players from the west. Even if we import all their best bench warmers and mediocre NBA players, we will only be making a fool out of ourselves. Importing American basketball players who do play good here in the land of the dwarves but who in their own country will never attract even a fly in the ghetto is foolish. I mean if we could import the likes of Jordan and Shaq then that would be different.
Now, why do you think those Fil-Am basketball players suddenly got patriotic and started tracing their Filipino ancestry up to the time of Noah and the flood? Why do you think they suddenly felt that their motherland is calling them? Why? Because they are nobody in the States. Their credential may be impressive here but out there they may not have even reached the level of mediocrity. They’ll die there; they need to go to a small pond where they can be visible and impressive, where they can feel that they can fly.
We should admit it, we are not for basketball. That is, unless the Olympics organized a midget basketball league for countries like us but as long as this has not happened, why waste money?
There are many sports where we can be good and even be the best at, but basketball, unfortunately, is not it. Admit it.
And even if we did win, by the grace of Mazinger Z, gold in the basketball event in the Beijing Olympics, we did not win it at all. Give the damned trophy to the Americans; it’s theirs.