Why is Philippines Basketball Failing Internationally?


The Philippines, despite being referred to as one of the powerhouses in world basketball, are faced with many difficulties both internally and beyond the shores of the nation.

Can you picture what such challenges could be, or the possible remedies? Keep reading to uncover more in this article.

Why is Philippines Basketball Failing Internationally?

PBA Highlights: The Place of Philippines Basketball at the Global Level

When competing at the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship, the national team fared well enough to place fourth overall. The nation has not done this well in the tournament since 1987.

Chat Reyes' Philippines team, advanced to the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships finals with an 86-79 victory over South Korea in a tense and passionate game.

The victory guarantees their spot in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. They have not competed at this level of international basketball since 1978.

At the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship, Baldwin coached the Gilas team. Their performance was so good that they were on the cusp of Olympic qualification in 2016, with a disputed victory being the only thing standing in their way. With Guiao at the helm, Gilas secured their spot in next year's FIBA World Cup.

The Philippines did poorly in the global competition. They went winless at 0-5 and were well-dominated in four of their five losses.

They finished dead last, much as the worst team in the country did in 1978 when they also failed to win a single game. After the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifications, the Gilas are ranked number 34 in the world.

PBA Highlights: The Challenges of the Philippines Basketball

The Philippines, despite being regarded as the home of basketball in Asia, are facing a series of challenges in the world of basketball. Some of the challenges are discussed below.

PBA Challenges Highlights: Skill Incompetence

In May 2022, Indonesia beat Gilas Pilipinas to win the gold medal at the Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.

This ended the 30-year basketball dynasty of the Philippines. This setback is only the tip of something much bigger.

Gilas Pilipinas, the Philippine national team, always follows the same routines. It often takes part in events but can't always win on the international stage. It just lost its throne in Southeast Asia, which says a lot.

There does not seem to be a long-term plan, there are always only a certain number of players for the national team.

Sometimes, both the coaches and the systems they use to teach need to be changed or updated. Gilas could not be consistent because each new coach brought a new way of playing, a new team culture, and a new group of players. With the level of competence, the team is deteriorating day by day.

Why is Philippines Basketball Failing Internationally?

PBA Highlights: Poor Scouting System Challenge

No doubt, there are a lot of good basketball players in the Philippines, and it takes just a light touch for a good coach to help young talent.

Gilas, the national basketball team of the Philippines, has the skills to get back to where it used to be on the international scene.

The failure to get talented people, especially from rural areas, can be caused by several things. The fact that these young people can not go to colleges, from which they could be drafted, is a big problem, as also bad board governance and corruption.

However, the Philippine Basketball Association has not set up enough in-person tournaments so that young people who did not get into colleges can show off their skills.

PBA Challenges Highlights: High Cost of Maintenance

Since its start in 1975, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has helped the sport grow by holding drafts to choose the best college players. It should however be noted that keeping these teams together costs too much money.

Because of the high cost of maintaining a team, the number of PBA teams has gone down. Also, the number of PBA teams dramatically impacts how many talented players make it to the league.

If you look closely enough, it is noticeable that all of the PBA teams are backed by the best businesses in the Philippines. Without the help of sponsorships, many PBA teams would have died.

PBA Highlights: Low Level of Competitiveness Challenges

Another problem the national team has is that the players can't play against top players while they're still growing. The PBA has not been competitive enough as a league. Filipinos are not as big or as good at the sport as Americans.

According to some reports, American basketball players are about 6.7 feet tall, while Filipinos are only about 4 feet tall. So, it is vital to make a new version of basketball that is different from the American version.

PBA Highlights: Conclusion

With the discovery of various challenges in the PBA, we must come up with the recommendations below to further strengthen the league and put the country back to where it belongs on the global map.

  • There should be a scouting system to help discover raw talents. Regional tournaments should be set up regularly to find local talent, and the PBA should work to lower the cost of entry.
  • The Philippines should stop playing a style of ball that puts a lot of emphasis on the skill and talent of each player. Gilas Pilipinas should instead switch to a system emphasizing teamwork, passing the ball, and dribbling without the ball.
  • A permanent head coach should also be chosen so that the best players on the team have enough time to learn the coach's system and way of doing things.
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