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The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) finally broke its silence three days after the horrendous silver medal finish of the powerhouse Gilas Pilipinas men’s basketball team in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
In a statement made by SBP president Al Panlilio, the SBP acknowledged the disappointment felt by Filipino fans everywhere after the Gilas lost to Indonesia, 81-85, to come home with just a silver medal in the biennial sports meet—thus breaking the Philippines’ 33-year stranglehold of the gold medal in the tournament’s basketball competition.
“We at the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas share the disappointment of our Filipino basketball fans and take full responsibility with the results of our 31st Southeast Asian Games campaign,” said Panlilio.
“We apologize we fell short and were not able to give our teams better support that they needed to retain the Gold. There are no excuses and we’ve learned valuable lessons. We will bounce back and reclaim our spot to stay ahead,” he added.
It remains to be seen what the SBP’s next steps are in the wake of this disastrous result. Up next for the national team is the third window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers in Auckland, New Zealand and the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia in July.