DESPITE the loss to Iran in the FIBA Asia final, Malacañang lauded the country’s national basketball team for their big fighting heart.
“Gilas Pilipinas has shown the world that no one can outsize the heart of the Filipino,” Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a statement. “In unison, the nation urged our team forward, and with consummate ‘puso,’ they laid everything on the line for flag and country,”
“May their performance inspire every Filipino to relentlessly pursue excellence, no matter what field they find themselves in, so that, together, we may fulfill our shared aspiration of a Philippine nation greater than ever before,” Lacierda added
President Benigno Aquino 3rd and Vice President Jejomar Binay are among the thousands in attendance at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday to support Gilas Pilipinas. The team fell short of winning the Asian title, but still booked a seat for the FIBA World Cup next year in Spain.
The Palace official, meanwhile, congratulated the players and their families, the coaching staff, and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manuel V. Pangilinan, who was also responsible for bringing the event to the Philippines.
“The Aquino administration joins the Filipino people in congratulating Gilas Pilipinas for winning the silver medal in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships—and with it, a ticket to the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain,” he said.
“This victory is the culmination of years of hard work, belief, and perseverance from our players and their families, from our coaching staff, from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas led by Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, and, most of all, from the entire Filipino nation, who has always stood behind the national team through their struggles and triumphs,” Lacierda added. CATHERINE S. VALENTE