The first time I shot the Smart Gilas Pilipinas team was an Exhibition game against Powerade Team Pilipinas on October 2009. View pics here Smart Gilas vs Powerade Team Pilipinas. Smart Gilas trashed the Powerade Team Pilipinas composed of PBA players and from there I became a big fan of Smart Gilas and knew that the program will flourish but I also knew that it will not happen overnight.
Then from there since I was already shooting in the PBA, I also photographed some of the Smart Gilas games and here I saw that the Smart Gilas players who have no professional experience are already at par with the PBA players as they finished 3rd place in the PBA Commissioners Cup. View some of my Smart Gilas in the PBA pics here Smart Gilas vs Derby Ace Llamados and Smart Gilas vs San Miguel
After their PBA stint, Philippines hosted the 2011 FIBA Asia Champions Cup where Smart Gilas played against teams from Asia with 2 Imports each. This tournament showed how far the Smart Gilas program has become against powerhouse teams from Asia. This is also my first time to shoot an International Tournament. View some pics here Smart Gilas vs Duhok Photos | Smart Gilas vs Jordan Photos | Smart Gilas vs Syria Photos | Smart Gilas vs Qatar Photos
Then my most memorable shoot with Smart Gilas was versus the NBA All-Stars during the Smart Ultimate All-Star Weekend, this was a dream come true, shooting NBA stars against our Philippine National Basketball Team. A once in a lifetime event that I was truly grateful to shoot. I have not posted all my pictures from the event since I shot so many photos but here’s the Smart Gilas vs NBA Photos Set 1
Then the last 2 games that I shot was the Smart Gilas Exhibition Games against Qatar and Jordan before they left for Wuhan, China. View the Smart Gilas Exhibition pics here Smart Gilas vs Qatar Photos | Smart Gilas vs Jordan Photos
Next time, I hope I am able to shoot Smart Gilas in an International Tournament in another Country.
Even though I was disappointed with the way the team ended the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship, I think that this current team laid the foundation for our next Philippine National Basketball Team, I just hoped we learned a lot in those three years of the Smart Gilas program and apply everything that we have learned. My favorite coach, Rajko Toroman may or may not be extended but I will continue to Support the next Smart Gilas team!
Thank you to all the Players, Coaching Staff and all the people who contributed to the team in any way, specially to Smart and MVP.
Thank you Smart Gilas Pilipinas!