Two Sports Games: One Uplifted the Nation, the Other Disgraced It

This week, there were two notable sports events that’s being heralded around the world.

There’s the exciting World Cup Match between Belgium and Japan last Monday. 

Apparently, people originally thought Japan would win, until Belgium made a surprise upset to win the game. This meme perfectly sums up the exciting match:

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However, despite losing the game, Japan was heralded as an opponent worthy of respect. They fought hard and lost, and yet managed to do so gracefully.

The audience were supportive, and yet, despite losing, cleaned up after themselves after the match.

 

 

 

Even the Japanese players cleaned up their lockers AFTER LOSING, leaving the place spic and span with a sweet thank you note for their hospitality.

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Despite losing the hard fought game, the Japanese team were lauded as good sports.

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Please note that not only was the Japanese proud of their team, but even the Belgians (and everyone around the world) was lauding on how the players fought fair and hard. It’s a wonderful thing to see just how sports brings people together.

It’s enough to make you shed a tear.

Compare that to the debacle that is the Gilas Pilipinas vs. Australia match at the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan also last Monday.

Like Japan, the Philippines lost albeit horribly. However, unlike Japan, the Philippines were far from the graceful losers.

This was how the brawl unfolded.Please note that the blue uniformed players are from the Philippines team, while the yellow uniformed players were from the Australian team.

The fight started when some sponsorship decals was removed from the basketball court when the Australians deemed it as a safety risk since they were too slippery. That was already a bad start to the game.

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Manny Pangilinan is the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) chairman emeritus.

What follows is a quick build up to the f*ck up. Here is the time-line of events.

During the timeout, moments before the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifier turned into a full-blown brawl, Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes ordered his players to “hit somebody, put somebody in their ass,” after the tam trailed by double digits.

He later justifies this instruction as basketball talk. 

 

 

Come the third quarter, the fight boiled to a fever pitch when Australia’s Daniel Kickert accidentally or intentionally elbowing Filipino player Roger Pogoy.

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This was the chance the Philippines was waiting for. In reaction, Jayson Castro (Blue, 7) from the Philippines punched Kickert in the face.

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Jayson Castro then pursues Kickert off court, probably forgetting that he’s no longer 10.

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To be fair, the Australians fought back. Australia’s Thon Maker kicks Filipino player Andray Blatche, apparently forgetting that they’re not in a Street Fighter game.

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People from the bench joined in.

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Australian Christopher Goulding somehow ended up on the floor hurt because the Filipinos ganged up on him.

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There was a point when the Filipino players almost killed Christopher Goulding. The culprit: The Assistant Coach Jong Uichico grabs a chair and tries to hit Goulding’s head with it.

YES, YOU HEARD IT RIGHT. THE ASSISTANT COACH.

“There’s vision of Luc Longley, our NBA legend (and Boomers assistant coach) taking a position of an Australian Wallaby clearing a maul to actually get a significant number of people off him. That’s what we were dealing with.’’

Luc Longley might have saved Goulding’s life in Boomers brawl: agent

What’s worse, Gilas coach Chot Reyes after the game defended his players. He said you would understand if you were at the game yourself. He did not lambast his players for resorting to violence in the game, stating: “But the reality is that Kickert was hitting our players during the warm-ups. He hit Carl Bryan Cruz, he hit Matthew Wright, [Roger] Pogoy and he hit Calvin Abueva.”

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As if this would excuse their actions. If the other person was being immature, should you also join him and kick his ass?

 

In the end, the Australians won the game 89-53 when only one Gilas Pilipinas player was left.

Afterwards, the proud Filipino team takes a selfie.

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The Philippines is proud…. proud of being what?

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I don’t really care what you think.

You may agree with the Gilas players and say that the Filipinos are merely defending their nationalistic pride and defending themselves from the Australian racist *ssholes.

However, as a Filipino, I am embarrassed.

Why is it that the Filipinos are so quick to defend their shameful action? And yet do NOT see their fault in all of these?

The Australians called us monkeys. This makes them racists.

I called what happened as the act of dogs.

Very shameful and embarrassing.

This is NOT what good sportsmanship is like. We saw what good sportsmanship is like with the Japan vs. Belgium game. This is what sports is and should be.

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Not this.

I am Filipino. A proud one at that.

But oh, what a disgrace we are.

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UPDATE: This Rappler Article, Why Gilas Should Apologize” sums up my emotions perfectly.

About Tina in Manila

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