Good-bye, Rio

Gilas Pilipinas

That Olympic dream will have to wait yet again.

In need of a win to stay alive in the tournament, Gilas Pilipinas instead found itself on the wrong side of the scoreboard once more, succumbing to the upstart Tall Blacks of New Zealand, 89–80.

Tai Webster

The Tall Blacks, led by the Webster brothers—Tai and Corey—and forwards Isaac Fotu and Thomas Abercrombie, started strong, building as much as a ten-point lead in the first half behind the efficient playmaking of Tai Webster, the hot shooting of Corey Webster, and a suffocating man-to-man ddefense.

New Zealand then seized control after halftime, pouncing on a lackadaisical, if not completely lethargic, Gilas squad to extend the lead to 13 at the midway point of the third canto. The Webster brothers again led the way as New Zealand seemingly scored at will inside, outside, and even in-between. Tai Webster punctured the Gilas defense time and again with daredevil drives even as his brother, Corey, nonchalantly stepped into open threes off of pick-and-rolls. The duo of Fotu and Abercrombie provided additional firepower, swishing open jumpers off of beautifully executed plays.


But as they did against France, Gilas again fought back led by naturalized center Andray Blatche and point guard Jayson Castro. But again, just like last night, Gilas could not complete the comeback as the Tall Blacks showed the same type of poise shown before by the Les Bleus of France. Timely buckets from the Webster brothers and Thomas Abercrombie finished off Team Pilipinas, in the process breaking the basketball hearts of millions of Filipinos yet again.

And just like that, this journey, filled with so much hope and so much promise, is now officially over.

Yes, that Olympic dream remains just that—a dream.

More Gilas Photos at Gilas Pilipinas vs New Zealand Photo Gallery

Martin is a copy editor for the University Press of First Asia. He is an avid sports fan. He used to keep a sports blog at

One Response to Good-bye, Rio

  1. Alan Quijano says:

    Salamat Gilas,coach Tab and the staff and the rest of the crew, all the players selected or not, the SBP, the PBA, Boss Manny and all the supporters money wise or not- a very great performance!!! but… we are now being scouted, studied and watched and respected by the other nations..and a joke- hope the refs will stop watching us in amazement o paghanga and use their whistle–pikon ako sa totoo lang…

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