When Smart Gilas built a huge lead by halftime, I knew it would be hard for Powerade to recover because of the latter's poor shooting. James Yap and Jared Dillinger didn't give up, as usual, but one-on-one plays don't work against a well-oiled machine like Smart Gilas. Taulava and Thoss went missing too. It was Casio who was steadily held Gilas' wits in the early minutes of the first quarter when some of his team mates were lost. Quinito Henson was gloating in the first quarter when the "men" seemed to dominate the "boys" of Smart Gilas. But two straight three point shots wiped out Powerade's lead in the first quarter and Henson shut up. With nothing to talk about as "the boys" were whipping "the men", Quinito enumerated all the controversies the Gilas players got embroiled too. So this coming Philippine Basketball Association conference, Smart Gilas has to put up with bias refereeing and commentary. If they keep it up it will only fuel fan support for Gilas.
Smart Gilas boys' eager to prove something continued to rack up the points, putting up a twenty point lead in the third quarter. There was no let up in defense either as the paint was effectively covered forcing Powerade to shoot from outside or rely on occasional intrusions, the team totaled eight block shots in the game. Powerade seem to be clueless in defense failing to defend either on Ababou or Tiu who hit their shots. Aldrech Ramos also joined in the shooting party in the fourth. A Chris Tiu - CJ Giles alley op play basically finished Powerade with 2:16 left in the last canto, 90 - 67.
Days before the game, Coach Yeng Guiao was quoted as saying, "When the game starts, there's really no holding back," said Guiao. "We will definitely go for the win badly as there's so much pride at stake. They (Gilas) want to earn respect, but we won't give it to them. If they were in our shoes, they would do the same."
It is fair to say, Smart Gilas got the respect that they deserve now.
This is a sad end to the Powerade Team Pilipinas. It seemed that people's frustration with the PBA was vented on them. When Andy Mark Barroca challenged Willie Miller to a one-on-one and won, I remembered Powerade's game against Chinese Taipei, when Miller did a crossover against Tien Li and nailed a three-point shot to win the match. It was a great day for Philippine basketball, I will never forget that. The defeat to Smart Gilas marked a sad end for Powerade Team Pilipinas, a team which was never given a decent shot to succeed in Fiba-Asia Championship.
I'll let Quinito Henson's comments pass. I will give him another chance. It doesn't sound good hating on the National team, Mr. Henson.
Smart Gilas vs Philippine Patriots 6:30 pm San Juan Arena