“It’s tough, but I always say, I’d rather play with a good team and I will show my best, trying to win, than play with a mediocre team and lose,”Jaworski said on Gilas campaign in the World Cup
Former Senator Robert Jaworski has experienced playing against the bests hoop players in the world before and he knows how tough to compete with them.
The Living Legend played for the country in the 1968 Mexico Olympics and in the 1974 FIBA World Championship prior to carving out a career as the most beloved player in the PBA.
With his experience, Jaworski has some valuable pieces of advice for the Gilas Pilipinas national team, which will represent the country in the FIBA World Cup this August.
“Let’s face it, every time you’re given the opportunity to represent your country in the international arena, it’s the best thing to ever happen, considering that there’s so many who want to be a part of it,” said Jaworski.
The Philippines has been grouped with powerhouse squads Argentina, Croatia, Greece, Puerto Rico, and Senegal, who all have current and former NBA players, making the country a longshot to qualify for the next round. But while Jaworski is aware of the odds, he said the level of competition is something to relish.
“It’s tough, but I always say, I’d rather play with a good team and I will show my best, trying to win, than play with a mediocre team and lose,” he said.
“May kasabihan nga: Talo kami, pero tingnan mo naman yung kalaban namin. Yun naman ang importante dito, the traits will generally make us to come out with a better perception of who we are, as a country, as a people.
“You take the challenge. Let the pride work with you, the pride of being able to represent the country, the pride of bringing something respectable for your people is key.”
Speaking from experience, Jaworski said merely sharing the court with top teams from around the world is a great achievement in itself.
“It might sound too idealistic. The Olympic movement is older than the United Nations, so if you’ve got the chance, put it out, put it together. Up to now, I still treasure playing with countries like the USA and all those good teams and let them also know that hey, we are probably a great contributor to this sport itself,” mesmerized Jaworski.
ASIAN GAMES STINT
After its stint in the World Cup, Gilas is scheduled to don national colors once more in the Asian Games basketball tournament. The competition holds a dear place in Jaworski’s heart, having coached the national team to a silver medal finish in the Asiad in 1990 — the first time PBA players represented the Philippines in an international tournament.
“Based on experience, the Asian Games, a good number of times, became an easier tournament than the ABC (now the FIBA Asia Championship), and for good reason, because they always look forward to doing their best in the ABC preparatory for the Olympics,” he said.
“Winning the Asian Games in basketball will be a big achievement as well.”
The Gilas-Pilipinas line-up will be announced soon and it is still unclear who will make the line-up but there is a big possibility that the line-up that we had in the Fiba-Asia Championships will be the same that will be fielded in the World Cup.
--- with reports from Interaksyon.com
“It’s tough, but I always say, I’d rather play with a good team and I will show my best, trying to win, than play with a mediocre team and lose,”Jaworski said on Gilas campaign in the World Cup Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on on 2/12/2014 Rating: