Equipped for Rio?

EDITORIAL: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Now that the curtains have fallen on the Fiba Olympic qualifying tournament, we can stand back and assess the performance of Gilas Pilipinas without the emotion pushed forward by a passionate home crowd and the gracious, glowing words of encouragement from world-class rivals about the marked improvement of the Philippines’ basketball program.

Here are the facts: The Philippines is still far from the level it needs to be to compete consistently against the giants—literally—of the sport. The beloved national basketball team’s dream of making it to the Olympics will remain a dream for the meantime. A return to the world stage via Fiba’s restructured World Cup will be easier to swing, because the tournament opens more slots to Asia than the Olympics does. With only one continental berth available for the Summer Games, it is clear that it will take some time before the Philippines participates in Olympic basketball.

At the very least, Rio de Janeiro is out. And Tokyo 2020 might be a tad too optimistic at this point.