Under heaven, the Philippines is now pushed behind by Cambodia?
In Southeast Asia across the sea, the 2023 Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia are currently being held. Now that the tournament is nearing its end, basketball also has only the final with a gold medal left.
The Philippines is a powerhouse in Asian basketball and the ‘America’ of Southeast Asia. In the Southeast Asian Games, he won a total of 18 championships and failed to reach the top only three times. Overwhelming could not be a better word.
However, in the tournament held in Hanoi, Vietnam in May 2022, he lost 81-85 in the last game against Indonesia and failed to challenge for 14 consecutive losses. At that time, the Philippines was in great shock and showed determination to the 안전놀이터 extent of using the expression ‘redeem team’ prior to this year’s tournament.
The Philippines summoned PBA (Philippine Professional Basketball) players for this tournament and set out to regain the top spot. With Justin Brownlee, the best foreign player in PBA history, recently naturalized, Christian Stand Hardinger, Chris Newsom, and Jaymar Perez are the main players in the 1.5 team. Jerome Rastimosa, who was rumored to join Jeonju KCC, is also wearing a national team uniform.
The Philippines, who won the first match against Malaysia 94-49, lost 68-79 in the match against Cambodia immediately following. Afterwards, they beat Singapore and Indonesia in succession and continued their record of advancing to the finals of all tournaments, but the loss against Cambodia came as big as the shock of the runner-up a year ago.
Even Manny Pangirinan, honorary president of the SBP (Philippine Basketball Association), expressed his disappointment to the extent of using the expression “disgraceful game, defeat” through his personal SNS.
There is something strange about it. The Philippines is definitely a strong team, even if you look at Asia as a whole beyond Southeast Asia. It is very ‘strange’ to lose to Cambodia, who won 100-32 in the Southeast Asian Games a year ago, even if it is not the most elite team because it does not include foreign players.
However, if you look at Cambodia’s strength, it is not surprising that the Philippines lost. Currently, Cambodia includes both naturalized American players and Cambodian-American players. Players with NCAA Division I and European league experience, such as Sayed Frigit, Darin Dorsey, Brandon Peterson, Oscar Lopez Jr., Dwayne Morgan, and Darius Henderson, represent the host country.
There is no big problem with the naturalization rush of ‘Cambodia’, not Cambodia, as long as they have citizenship regardless of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) regulations before the tournament, they decided not to limit the number of naturalized players. Thanks to this, Cambodia defeated the Philippines 20-15 in the 3×3 final with Prijit, Doshi, and Peterson at the forefront and won the first Southeast Asian Games basketball gold medal in history (of course, as many naturalized players are participating, raising questions about this and changing the rules) story is being mentioned).
The Philippines is also very upset. I tried to erase the regret of the runner-up a year ago, but I met an unexpected opponent in Cambodia. The Philippines and Cambodia will meet again in the final on the 16th (Korean time). The Philippines is aiming for their 19th championship, and Cambodia is aiming to advance to the finals for the first time and win the championship at the same time.
For the Philippines, the only way to recover the title of champion in Southeast Asia is to defeat Cambodia, which is virtually the same as the United States. It’s not easy. It’s not that they don’t have naturalized players, but the memories of being broken in the first game can come as a big burden.
Will the Philippines suffer the humiliation of being runner-up for the first time in history? Or will they be able to defeat Cambodia and rise to the top again? Whatever the outcome, it becomes history.