Fans and supporters of Smart Gilas Pilipinas can now watch how the Philippine national basketball team battled through the tough competition to reach the finals of the 22nd Dubai International Basketball Tournament as GMA Pinoy TV airs the competition worldwide beginning February 12.
Supported passionately by Dubai-based GMA Pinoy TV subscribers, Smart Gilas Pilipinas improved on its third place finish last year by finishing second behind tournament champion Al Etihad of Egypt. The basketball tournament, which was organized by the UAE Basketball Association, was held at the Al Ahli Club, Dubai from January 20 to 29.
The opening of the Dubai tournament saw a strong Pilipinas team defeating Lebanon’s Anibal Zahle by 27 points (70-57). But their next opponent, team Al Etihad of Egypt, got the better of the national team, winning over Smart Gilas, 85-72.
Smart Gilas was all fired up when it stepped out the court in its next game as it dominated Sharjah Club-United Arab Emirates, 92-67. But Smart Gilas faced a tough lost when it went up against the Syrian team, Al Wahda, who beat the team by only 2 points (91-89).
In order to make it to the semi-finals of the Dubai caging, Smart Gilas trounced Lebanon’s Hoops by 17 points, 86-69. And it was Smart Gilas against Al Wahda again. This time though, in the semi-final battle, the Pilipinas team overcame the Syrian club with an 11 point lead, 77-66.
Smart Gilas started strong in the finals against Al Etihad, posting an 11 point advantage in the first half. But in the last quarter, the Egyptian squad bombarded the Pilipinas team with a series of three-pointers. At the sound of the final buzzer, the final score was pinned at 84-75 and Al Etihad was named champion of the 22nd Dubai International Basketball Tournament.
The Smart Gilas team, led by Serbian Head Coach Rajko Toroman, has Chris Tiu and Mark Barroca at the forefront as team captains. They are joined by former Pinoy collegiate basketball superstars Dylan Ababou, Jason Ballesteros, Mac Baracael, JV Casio, and Aldrech Ramos, Fil-Am players Marcus Douthit, Marcio Lassiter, and Chris Lutz, and PBA player Asi Taulava.
GMA Pinoy TV has partnered with Smart Gilas Pilipinas in sharing their triumphs with Filipinos all over the world. These include their participation in seven international tournaments (in Dubai, U.S.A, Australia, Taipei, Beirut, and Manila) as part of the team’s preparations toward this year’s Fiba Asia Championship. The 2011 Fiba Asia Championship will serve as a qualifying tournament for the 2012 London Olympics.
Filipino viewers worldwide can catch the exciting games of Smart Gilas Pilipinas at the 22nd Dubai International Basketball Tournament on GMA Pinoy TV on these dates – Feb. 12 (Games 1-3), Feb. 19 (Games 4-5), and Feb. 26 (Games 6-7). Call your preferred pay TV operator now to subscribe.