Crazy or deranged

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By Danilo P. Padua, PhD

“ …From my own perspective, that PhP1B budget is puny compared to the goodwill and promotion that the country generated worldwide from the hosting. ”

Crazy or deranged? If I were to use the two terms, I will probably interchange them. They both mean the same to me.
The two terms were actually ascribed to Filipinos by somebody who, am convinced, is not a deranged man. We have seen how we are somehow pilloried in the international scene. Sometime ago for example, they defined Filipina in a dictionary as domestic helper. That is a definition from a crazy person. We raised a howl of protest on that.
When you are in an international training group and each will do your respective personal chores like ironing own clothes because you are not provided with a housekeeping personnel, naturally you are forced to do the favor for yourself. But when you are in a line and it’s your turn to iron your clothes and somebody next to you said, “here are my clothes, iron them too”. That’s crazy.
So what will be your reaction? You will be like a deranged person spewing words, even vitriolic ones, that you do not like to listen to in normal times; and in front of the stunned persons in line and those within hearing distance. That’s exactly what I did to a crazy man from Cyprus when I was in Germany about two decades ago. After that deranged reaction from me, the guy never uttered a single word. The tongue-lashing made him like his blood all flowed back to his home country in a jiffy. But my own face looked like red as an over ripe tomato, I was told later.
To be called deranged therefore is too remote to be considered a complimentary gesture.
The word crazy and deranged in this piece are actually in reference to the Filipinos’ penchant- no, more than penchant- for basketball. During the FIBA Basketball World Cup held here from Aug 25-Sept 10, 2023 (some games were held in Japan and in Indonesia-the two countries being co-hosts), I read an article in a local daily by a well-travelled sports writer covering the tourney. I forgot his name.
After a stay of 2 weeks, he penned the article. He said that he had known about the love affair of the Filipinos with the game. It was described as crazy by many. But after roaming some parts of the capital region, and perusing sports pages of local newspapers, he came to a suggestion that the Philippines is not a basketball-crazy nation. It is a basketball-deranged country! I couldn’t decipher if it was a complimentary or derogatory description after reading his article.
I had to consult the dictionary for the meaning of the two. Well, they were somehow synonyms. But looking further, the word crazy was also described as erratic, unsound while deranged was also defined as wildly odd, disturbed or disordered in function, structure or condition. The dictionary did not help me fully to understand the terms. Anyway, to me the words crazy or deranged are closely akin to each other, therefore interchangeable.
Well, can you imagine a basketball ring attached everywhere-on trees, posts, in high fences, on makeshift boards at the center of streets, even on dilapidated houses-and people actually use them! It’s crazy. It’s actually a deranged thing when people play even on flooded areas, as was shown in some published articles.
When Filipino basketball fans boo their own national coach as he was introduced before actual games against foreign teams during the World Cup, that too is a sign of deranged behavior. Maybe this is one of the reasons why the international sports writer used the word, deranged.
For one, some foreign coaches of World Cup teams characterized our Gilas team as really a good team, piloted by a good coach. It is to their chagrin that during their preparation and training, they were not complete until less than two weeks before the start of the games. Even USA team, made up of entirely NBA players, were prepared as a whole team for about two months, yet they finished only 4th. The participating teams were actually so strong, since they prepared for longer periods compared to our team.
Gilas won only one game in the entire tournament, but its lone win was a very convincing 21-point shellacking against China. We finished 24th of 32 teams, ahead of all Asian teams except Japan and Lebanon. We could have won more if local fans witnessing the live games in the arena were kind to the coach and the team at the start of each game, and not behaved like a deranged dog. In the 2019 Cup in China, the Philippines did not win any game and finished dead last.
Congratulations to the Gilas 2023 World Cup team .
The conduct of the World Cup here was considered highly successful per evaluation by FIBA, the world governing body of basketball. Some local critics though were questioning the propriety of allocating PhP1.0Billion to host the tourney. From my own perspective, that PhP1B budget is puny compared to the goodwill and promotion that the country generated worldwide from the hosting.
The Games were beamed in more than 100 countries which was a free promotion for us. People around the world learned more about the Philippines, our culture, our tourist spots, our efficiency in holding such big events, etc. People googled more about the country. That is a good investment for the future, especially for tourism. We can hardly quantify the economic return, of course, but it will surely come.
As to why we insist on investing on the sport, it is the one that we embraced wholeheartedly. It is impossible to change overnight. This is the biggest reason why some patrons are infusing more private money to the sport, than in any other sport. After all, Lithuania and the Philippines are considered to be the only two countries where basketball is the leading sport. Take basketball out, and we will experience some kind of a world war. Maybe we can just try to temper expectations and educate ourselves to be more accepting of the possible outcome of games.
It doesn’t matter if we are called basketball crazy or deranged nation.
Now, it’s time to cheer, not to jeer, for our Gilas team (for all RP sports teams, of course) in the coming Asian Games that will start last week of this month of Sept in China.**


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