3 reasons why Gilas 3.0 is really The Mighty Ducks 3

D3: The Mighty Ducks is about a team of underachievers aiming for success amid a coaching change, the lack of defense, and a new identity. Sounds familiar?

OK, so it’s a hockey film. By Disney. In the 90s. But that moment when Charlie Conway and the Ducks finally defeated the bigger and stronger varsity team, it’s eerily similar to the moment when Gilas Pilipinas finally brought down the giants of Iran. As sportswriter and broadcaster Nikko Ramos eloquently put it, it was a “legitimate moment” we all shouldn’t forget.

The New Coach

In the 2013 FIBA Asia tournament, the Chot Reyes-led Puso Pilipinas were the underdogs, and each win was an upset. This year, it’s a different story. With American coach Tab Baldwin now manning the sidelines, Gilas Pilipinas is playing with more discipline, but still stamped with the same brand of “puso” basketball.

tab relak



“I’m more of a defensive-oriented coach. I want my team to play with a lot of discipline and the Filipino brand of basketball is probably traditionally more free-flowing, individualistic style,” Baldwin said before the start of the 2015 FIBA Asia. “So there is, some would say conflict, some would say merging of these two cultures.”

The convincing and dominant win versus Iran was exactly that, the merging of the two cultures: puso and defense. Scoring and hustle. Terrence Romeo and Calvin Abueva.


Against the defending champions, the Philippines (mostly Romeo) was not only lights out from 3, the Philippines (mostly Abueva) also played pesky defense to hold Iran to their lowest scoring output in the tournament. The stats sheet showed 12 steals and 5 blocks, but what it didn’t say was how Philippines hounded–and frustrated–Hamed Haddadi in the paint throughout the game. They gained the confidence to “attack the game when the puck [ball] isn’t yours.”

“Unlike scoring, defense never quits.” Thanks Coach Orion!



Loss to Palestine aka The Wake Up Call


In D3, an overconfident Ducks team blew a 9-goal lead in their first game of the season and allowed their opponents to end the game in a draw. Gilas suffered the same fate, blowing a 15-point lead to lose in their first game against Palestine. After that loss, Gilas won five straight and is now in a somewhat favorable position of avoiding China and Korea in the quarterfinals and semis. It also, immediately, drew the line between legit Gilas supporters and fairweather Gilas fans.

The Mighty Ducks defeated the bully in the end, having grown up and adjusted to a new system under a new coach. Their old coach, Gordon Bombay, checked in on his old team after the buzzer, beaming with pride from what they have accomplished.


In other news, Chot Reyes arrived in China today for the quarterfinals matchup vs Lebanon.



[Artwork by Finney Mann; Photos from FIBA; Screengrab from YouTube]

About the author

Jon Carlos Rodriguez

Jon Carlos Rodriguez is a New York Knicks fan, and a Barangay Ginebra resident. Aside from BuhayBasket.com, he has written for SLAM Philippines, Fox Sports PH, ABS-CBN News, Spot.ph, and 8List. In fantasy basketball, he once traded Harrison Barnes for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.


Leave a comment
  • It could have been a good article save for the line – “”it also immediately drew the line between legit gilas supporters, and gilas fair-weather fans” – That really sounded like a self validation statement saying “I’m a better fan than those who criticised Gilas after the Palestine game because I stuck with them through thick and thin.” My point is this article should have kept its focus on Gilas, stayed impartial and didn’t try to play authority on how to properly become a legit supporter of our national team.
    The defeat against Palestine was a mistake and a wake up call. Tab Baldwin himself said it was. Now going on to label people who showed grief, heavily criticised and hated them, as merely “fair- weather fans” , is like denying that Filipinos aren’t just your average casual spectator of this sport.
    Cliche as it sounds, basketball is our nation’s passion needless to say, we are emotionally attached to our national team. It’s like Gilas is part of your family. Remember being heavily criticised by your dad, doesn’t mean he does’t have your back. While watching their game, I can curse them like a sailor and even momentarily hate them for every bonehead play,.. and then jump with excitement and infinitely love them while crying like a baby once we regain the lead! That’s how it is… That’s our love affair with basketball.

    One team. One Nation. We’re all fans. No judging. No division.

    • Hi Nicholas,

      Thanks for your comment, we really appreciate listening to the views of our readers and having a healthy discussion with them. I would just like to point out, respectfully, that saying that the Palestine loss “drew the line between legit Gilas supporters, and Gilas fair-weather fans” was not intended to be a “self-validation” statement. There was nothing in the article that said “I’m a better fan…because I stuck with them through thick and thin.” The article “didn’t try to play authority,” because we, in BuhayBasket know for a fact that we are not authorities on anything and we, too, are fans who call it as we see it. The statement “it also immediately drew the line between legit Gilas supporters, and Gilas fair-weather fans,” was merely that, a statement, which was based on Gilas tweets from after the game. Some tweets said, “Bawi tayo, Gilas, kaya pa ‘yan” while others said, “Yumabang ang Gilas! Buti nga” and “Uwi na kayo Gilas, bulok!” (which I don’t think any dad will say to their child)

      For me, that meant a line has been drawn. That’s all. There were two sides, and both are correct, because it’s opinion. Note that those who criticized weren’t tagged as “haters,” but “fair-weather fans.” Those are two different things. And both are OK. Both are welcome. Because like you said, we’re really all just fans of the game.

      Again, we’d like to thank you for supporting BuhayBasket and raising valid points. We respect and value your views as it will only help us produce more creative, fair, and–hopefully–inspiring content moving forward.


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