A word is worth a thousand pictures-Jude B

SMART Gilas Against China’s Home Court

Gabe Norwood shows off hard slam. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Gabe Norwood shows off hard slam. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Written by

Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

SMART GILAS PILIPINAS has earned a finals berth against China by beating Japan 81-70 Friday night, October 2, 2015 at the FIBA ASIA tourney Changsha city Hunan, China. The finals match against powerhouse China with former NBA player Yi Jian Lian and 2 other 7-footers is set tonight Saturday October 3.

PBA pros already know how to be SMART with their fouls. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

PBA pros already know how to be SMART with their fouls. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

The odds are stacked against our Pinoy PBA heroes who have displayed heart (PUSO in Filipino) to get to the finals. Apart from the formidable line up of China, there’s been some bad officiating that may hamper and influence the result of the game. Most notably in SMART Gilas’ crucial quarterfinal game against Lebanon there was an unmistakable pattern of bad calls. In spite of which Pinoys still won over Lebanon 82-70.

Lebanon’s Haidar; SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Lebanon’s Haidar; SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

In the first and second quarters alone there were a total of 12 fouls called against Gilas vs 5 for Lebanon. What’s worse than doubling the number of fouls is when they were called. There was a 5-minute stretch in Q1 when 5 consecutive fouls were called on Gilas. Almost every single time the Lebanese had possession there was a foul called against Gilas. For any player, if the ref calls 2 straight fouls on your team the tendency is not to let up on defense but at the same time they’re also conscious of backing off enough to not get another call. Unbelievably 3 more fouls were committed in the last 2:30 of the Q1.

Calvin Abueva is energy off the bench; SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Calvin Abueva is energy off the bench; SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

All of these guys are pros, in the oldest professional basketball league in Asia. SO it’s very natural to assume they’d be able to control their tendency to commit a foul. It just so happens that one of the referees that game was from China.

from right Asi Taulava & Ganuelas cheer team mates. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

from right Asi Taulava & Ganuelas cheer team mates. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

The same incredulous pattern was repeated in Q2 and Q3. The refs would have us believe that these battle-tested pros would commit at least 3 consecutive fouls over 3 quarters. These numbers are based on the play-by-play stats posted in the official FIBA.com website. While the numbers bare the bad officiating the best evidence is just watching the game or video play back.

Terence Romeo; SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Terence Romeo; SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

In the Q3 8:24 mark Abd El Nour was leading a fast break by Lebanon when Don Hontiveros went in front of his path to draw a charge, a legitimate and self sacrificing defensive move. The result was Abd El nour barrled into Hontiveros. Everyone saw it because the Filipino was left lying on the floor. In spite of that it was a non-call; as if the referee didn’t see what happened at all. There are only 2 outcomes its either a charging foul or a blocking foul, instead it became a very strange let go situation. By Q4 the foul calls somewhat normalized as Lebanon tried to increase defensive intensity and or kill the clock as they were catching up 57-49.

SMART Gilas coach Tab Baldwin; SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

SMART Gilas coach Tab Baldwin; SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Referee errors are a given in any sport, they’re only human. But to consistently make calls against a team is an indication of bad officiating. Whether its systemic or intentional is yet to be determined. In an interview with PDI, Gilas coach Tab Baldwin conceded that “its hard to win in China (against the home team)”. He didn’t have to elaborate why.

Jason Castro is SMART Gilas’ cool-headed point guard. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Jason Castro is SMART Gilas’ cool-headed point guard. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

What saved us in the game against Lebanon was the composure of Jason Castro, Andray Blatche and Terence Romeo. Every time a bad call was made, FTs or baskets would cut the Gilas lead, Castro would calmly sink a timely trey. The Chinese home crowd who would much rather have their team meet LEB in the finals. They kept on booing, screaming trying to distract Blatche from crucial Free throws. But after making it he’d put his finger on his lips literally silencing the crowd.

Andray Blatche keeps composure to score in crucial moments. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Andray Blatche keeps composure to score in crucial moments. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Although no one from Gilas has outright complained against the officiating, it seems that they’re prepared for it. SMART GILAS is mentally prepared to take on whatever adversity is thrown against them as a team.

Terence Romeo; SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Terence Romeo; SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Even without China having to influence games via officiating they are such a daunting team to beat. They have the size, mobility and outside shooters. It boggles the mind why they’d have to do such a thing. But if you ask yourself why they moved heaven and earth to have the FIBA ASIA tourney on their home turf then you start to see a pattern. Everything is a huge concerted effort to ensure their entry to Rio and or their dominance over Asian basketball. SMART Gilas is not one to point fingers or make excuses; they’ll fight even if the odds are against them.

SMART Gilas beats adversity as a team. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

SMART Gilas beats adversity as a team. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Foul listing by quarter – based on official FIBA play by play. This is posted on official FIBA.com website.

Q1  Gilas-6 LEB-2

–9:51 Gilas

Hontiveros foul on Abd El nour

–8:28 LEB

Arakji foul on J Williams

–6:50 Gilas

Blatche foul on Haidar

–5:21 Gilas

Norwood on Haidar

–2:30 Gilas

De Ocampo on Haidar

–2:26 Gilas

Ganuelas on Youngblood

–0:54 Gilas

Abueva on Bawji

–0:24 LEB

Abd El Nour on Abueva

L.A. Laker Jordan Clarkson was almost a Gilas player; he shot a SMART BRO TVC ad recently.

L.A. Laker Jordan Clarkson was almost a Gilas player; he shot a SMART BRO TVC ad recently.

L.A. Laker Jordan Clarkson was almost a Gilas player; he shot a SMART BRO TVC ad recently.

L.A. Laker Jordan Clarkson was almost a Gilas player; he shot a SMART BRO TVC ad recently.

Q2 Gilas-6 LEB-3

—8:25 LEB

Akl on Romeo

–7:37 Gilas

Hontiveros on Saoud

–6:27 Gilas

Abueva on Haidar

–4:43 Gilas

Pingris on Haidar

–3:02 LEB

Bawji on Blatche

–2:46 Gilas

Ganuelas on Bawji

–2:30 Gilas

J William on Arakji

–1:42 LEB

Youngblood on Blatche

–0:59 Gilas

De Ocampo on Haidar

L.A. Laker Jordan Clarkson was almost a Gilas player; he shot a SMART BRO TVC ad recently.

L.A. Laker Jordan Clarkson was almost a Gilas player; he shot a SMART BRO TVC ad recently.

L.A. Laker Jordan Clarkson was almost a Gilas player; he shot a SMART BRO TVC ad recently.

L.A. Laker Jordan Clarkson was almost a Gilas player; he shot a SMART BRO TVC ad recently.

Q3 Gilas-7 LEB-3

–9:33 LEB

Bawji on Blatche

–9:21 Gilas

J William on Arakji

–8:20 Gilas

Norwood on Arakji

–8:08 Gilas

Hontiveros on Bawji

–6:20 Gilas

De Ocampo on Youngblood

—6:07 LEB

Akl on J Williams

–4:17 Gilas

Abueva on Abd El Nour

–3:07 LEB

Youngblood on Blatche

–2:49 Gilas

Norwood on Abd El Nour

–1:14 Gilas

Pingris on Abd El Nour

Jason Castro is SMART Gilas’ cool-headed point guard. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Jason Castro is SMART Gilas’ cool-headed point guard. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Youngblood is Lebanon’s premiere point guard. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Youngblood is Lebanon’s premiere point guard. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Q4 Gilas-3 LEB-5

–9:45 LEB

Bawji on Blatche

–8:45 LEB

Haidar on Romeo

–7:56 Gilas

Blatche on Haidar

–6:15 LEB

Youngblood on J William

–6:02 LEB

Haidar on Blatche

–5:21 LEB

Arakji on Blatche

–1:19 Gilas

Pingris on Youngblood

–0:27 Gilas

J William on Arakji

L.A. Laker Jordan Clarkson was almost a Gilas player; he shot a SMART BRO TVC ad recently.

L.A. Laker Jordan Clarkson was almost a Gilas player; he shot a SMART BRO TVC ad recently.

L.A. Laker Jordan Clarkson was almost a Gilas player; he shot a SMART BRO TVC ad recently.

L.A. Laker Jordan Clarkson was almost a Gilas player; he shot a SMART BRO TVC ad recently.

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Abd El nour Lebanon’s no.4; SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Abd El nour Lebanon’s no.4; SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Ranidel De Ocampo has a great jumper for big man. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Ranidel De Ocampo has a great jumper for big man. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

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Marc Pingris is stymied by Lebanon’s defense. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Marc Pingris is stymied by Lebanon’s defense. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Andray Blatche keeps composure to score in crucial moments. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Andray Blatche keeps composure to score in crucial moments. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

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L.A. Laker Jordan Clarkson was almost a Gilas player; he shot a SMART BRO TVC ad recently.

L.A. Laker Jordan Clarkson was almost a Gilas player; he shot a SMART BRO TVC ad recently.

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L.A. Laker Jordan Clarkson was almost a Gilas player; he shot a SMART BRO TVC ad recently.

L.A. Laker Jordan Clarkson was almost a Gilas player; he shot a SMART BRO TVC ad recently.

L.A. Laker Jordan Clarkson was almost a Gilas player; he shot a SMART BRO TVC ad recently.

L.A. Laker Jordan Clarkson was almost a Gilas player; he shot a SMART BRO TVC ad recently.

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Andray Blatche keeps composure to score in crucial moments. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Andray Blatche keeps composure to score in crucial moments. SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Calvin Abueva is energy off the bench; SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

Calvin Abueva is energy off the bench; SMART GILAS Pilipinas won against Lebanon 82-70, October 1, 2015 at the Changsha Social Work College, Chang Sha, China. Photo from FIBA.com.

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