Remembering The 1994 Asian Games Philippine National Basketball Team

For the 1990 Asian Games, the culprit cited for the 65 pt. embarassment against China was “… lack of teamwork …”. So, the PBA, for the 1994 Asian games, decided to try another approach: Get the coach and players of an existing team, and then just reinforce it with better players as necessary.

At that time, the most dominant team in the PBA was San Miguel Beer, with 1 (or was it two, even?) grandslams (3 tournament crowns successively won in a season). So, they took the starters and coach for that team, then just added some of the other star players in the league. The team, composed of 6 San Miguel players, and 6 All-Stars.

It may not be the “best of the best” of the PBA at that time, unlike the 1990 “PBA Dream Team”, but it was nonetheless a pretty good lineup, with San Miguel starters Hector Calma, Ato Agustin and Allan Caidic. The other non-San Miguel star players were Johnny Abbarientos, Kenneth Duremdes, Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codinera and Marlou Aquino.

The team had the misfortune of having to play South Korea in the eliminations, and naturally bowed down to the SK team, though the score wasn’t very embarassing, with only an 8-pt. Victory (86-78). Because of that defeat, it had to face China in the quarterfinals. Again, the result wasn’t very embarassing, only a 9-pt. win by China this time around, and left that team to battle no more than the Bronze medal.

“The Captain” looked small playing PF everytime he tried to post up a bigger player. Patrimonio had great athleticism, great coordination and skill. But somehow, that was negated by the taller opponents, especially when they double team on him.

In the battle for the Bronze, the team got beaten by Japan (was it Japan?) by only 2 pts., relegating that team to only 4th place. “The Captain” ended up sitting in the center court crying unabashedly after the defeat. Patrimonio had always been very, very competitive, one reason for his successful career, and I guess it was just out of frustration for giving his all, but still ended up short for a medal.

But wait a minute: We lost to Japan by only 2 pts., while we lost to China by 9 pts. Does that mean Japan would’ve lost to China by only 7 pts.? “Unquestionable logic”. Hmmm …..

Related Posts:

–> Remembering The 1990 Asian Games Philippine National Basketball Team

–> Remembering The 1998 Asian Games Philippine National Basketball Team

–> Remembering The 2002 Asian Games Philippine National Basketball Team

–> Remembering The 2012 FIBA Asia Cup Philippine National Basketball Team

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