THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is eyeing a sweep of all four basketball gold medals at stake in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in the country in November.
SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios said that is the order coming from the country’s top basketball officials – to win gold medals in the men’s and women’s categories composed of five-on-five and 3-on-3 competitions, respectively.
“That’s the mandate,” Barrios said yesterday during the first Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum for 2019 at the Tapa King Restaurant in Farmers Plaza Cubao.
The challenge right now is for the women’s team to deliver since the Filipina belles have yet to win a breakthrough gold in the biennial meet unlike their men’s counterpart which had won all gold medals except for two since the country first joined the biennial meet in 1977.
Multi-titled coach Patrick Aquino will continue to call the shots for the women’s squad.
“That’s why nai-stress na si coach Pat kasi alam n’yo naman mas mabigat ‘yung challenge sa kanya. ‘Yung sa men’s sabi nga nila kapag nanalo ng less than 50, galit pa tayo sa coach,” Barrios said in the public sports program presented by San Miguel Corp., Tapa King, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
“Kasi masyadong mataas na ‘yung standard natin sa Southeast Asia. But sa women’s hindi pa tayo nag-go-gold. We missed it a few years back,” added the former PBA commissioner. “Now that were playing here, coach Pat is really preparing (the team).”
The men’s team has yet to be formed although Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas earlier expressed his desire to see PBA players reinforce the squad. Vargas is also the current chairman of the PBA Board.
“Ngayon pinag-uusapan ng PBA at SBP is to provide the best,” said Barrios, stressing the country can’t leave nothing to chance especially since we are hosting the games.
“Pag nag-host ka there is nothing as overkill. Gusto natin to win, and not just win but win big,” he added. “Pero lahat ‘yun pinag-aaralan, don’t quote me as if it is cast in stone.”
The SBP executive said a lot of basketball events were also considered to be included in the SEA Games calendar aside from the 5×5 and 3×3.
“We did. Ang daming pinag-usapan na basketball events. But at the end of the day, the SEA Games Federation Council just settled for the four events,” he said.