CHANGSHA, China - As Gilas Pilipinas settled for the silver medal anew in the FIBA Asia Championship, Jayson Castro was also named to the Mythical First Team for the second time and reclaimed his spot as the best point guard in Asia.
It was a small consolation for the heartbreaking loss against China, but The Blur could not allow himself to take comfort in bagging an individual award.
"Sana nag-gold na lang, kahit wala na 'yung mythical five," he told GMA News Online in a somber tone inside the team bus after the game.
CHANGSHA, China - Gilas Pilipinas veteran Ranidel de Ocampo could not help but feel a sense of regret after the team bowed to host country China in the final of the FIBA Asia Championship here on Saturday night.
The Tab Baldwin-coached squad was on a mission to being home the gold medal for the Philippines and bring the country back to the Olympics after 44 years of absence, but its ultimately fell short against China in the championship match.
"Nakakapanghinayang lang kasi ito na 'yung isa sa mga best opportunity natin na maka-gold e. Silver na naman, lagi na lang silver," De Ocampo said.
In fact, the 31-year-old Knicks star is confident that he can play at a high level for the next “four or five years.”
“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.
Anthony is entering the second year of a five-year, $124 million contract. Only one member of his draft class in 2003 (LeBron James) has played more regular-season minutes.
The Philippine national men’s basketball team fell short of earning an automatic ticket to the 2016 Rio Olympics after losing to China in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship final on Saturday in Changsha, China.
But Gilas Pilipinas’ Olympic dream is still alive, although the squad faces a more difficult road to bring the country back to its first Olympic appearance in 44 years.
By finishing in the top four alone in the FIBA Asia, Gilas Pilipinas already booked a ticket to the 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament where three wildcard spots in the Olympic games are at stake.
The forward is aware that they huge underdogs against the host team, which has a taller lineup and has been practicing together for six months.
"Hindi natin nakuha talaga 'yung gold medal pero very proud pa rin ako na nakuha natin 'yung silver. Mahirap talaga ring kalabanin 'yung China e," Pingris said after the match.
The Chinese squad also enjoyed the support of the home crowd, but the Pinoy Sakuragi admitted that the officiating changed the complexion of the game after several questionable calls were whistled on Gilas Pilipinas.
CHANGSHA-HUNAN (2015 FIBA Asia Championship) - Chinese big man Yi Jianlian was rewarded for his consistently impressive performance throughout the tournament on Saturday by receiving the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship Most Valuable Player award, presented by Tissot.
Yi had 11 points, 15 rebounds, and 2 blocks for China as they defeated the Philippines, 78-67, in the Final. He averaged 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.2 blocks per game while shooting 52.9% from the field.
The 27-year-old headlined the All-Star Five, which also included his China team-mates Guo Ailun and Zhou Qi, Jayson Castro of Philippines, and Iran’s Samad Nikkhah Bahrami.
"Follow-up [exam] went very well," Hoiberg said after Saturday's practice. "They've advised him to continue to let that sight heal, and they think the best way to do that is for him to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back Wednesday morning."
The timeline for Rose's return to action hasn't changed. He has been told by doctors to have no basketball activity for two weeks after surgery on Wednesday, but Hoiberg noted that some Bulls coaches will visit Rose in his home on Saturday to help him learn the new portions of Hoiberg's system that have been installed at practice.
"We're going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today because we've added new sets, new things," Hoiberg said. "So we'll get him caught up by a couple coaches going over and seeing him at his house."