BOCAUE – Gilas Pilipinas’ chemistry was relatively fluid for a team that had to squeeze less than a month’s worth of practice for the FIBA 3×3 World Cup in between their PBA assignments.
Pitted against the world’s best teams and longest-tenured players, such cohesiveness was more integral over having just pure talent to boost their play.
And after getting a taste of world-class action as a unit for the first time, Gilas members expressed their desire to continue to play in future tournaments – preferably with each other.
“Now that we have that experience, I honestly hope that we can stay together and that we can make some history with 3×3,” Christian Standhardinger said. “We are very committed and even though we have double practices, we really wanna play for the country and it’s really important for us.”
“It was a good experience playing against the best of the best in the world. Sa tingin ko ito ‘yung mga kailangan natin para pagdating sa mga susunod na 3×3 tournaments, alam na natin ‘yung mga dapat nating gawin,” Troy Rosario said.
(I think this is what we need so we’ll know what to do in future 3×3 tournaments.)
Standhardinger and Stanley Pringle heaped a lot of praise on their teammates for their exceptional effort in the World Cup. Pringle, who was arguably the team’s go-to operator, noted that playing with two shooters in Roger Pogoy and Rosario and a hulking presence in Standhardinger made life easier for everyone on offense.
“Honestly, playing with these guys… we complement each other so well. They space the floor. When I try to penetrate and someone tries to help, boom – pass to Troy, pass to Pogoy, or Christian’s gonna bully inside. It was really the team effort. We complement each other really well,” Pringle observed.
Standhardinger, on the other hand, raved about how his teammates’ games are tailor-fit for three-on-three.
“You’ve seen what [Roger] did with the three-pointers. Amazing. He’s made for 3×3, Troy’s made for 3×3, and nobody can stop Stanley,” Strandhardinger said.
Setting up a continuous and consistent program just like how the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) did in the five-on-five should be the way to go, according to the team. For them, building on their recent success should pave the way for reaching loftier goals in the future.
“Sana magtuloy-tuloy ‘yung programa, sana mabuo ulit ‘yung ganitong team kasi ang sarap maglaro eh. Sanay tayo dito sa 3×3 na laro,” Rosario said.
“I love everybody but Roger,” Standhardinger said in jest. “I hope the organizations involved give us the opportunity to stick together, I think we showed great promise.”