SENATOR Sonny Angara has filed a resolution commending Gilas Pilipinas for its valiant effort in representing the country in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.
“The FIBA World Cup became a showcase to the world of Gilas Pilipinas' unique brand of puso-fueled basketball. The first win of the national team in 40 long years brought honor and recognition to the Philippines as a basketball-loving country, capable of producing world-class sporting talent," said Angara, chair of the Senate committee on games, amusement, and sports.
The 81-79 overtime win over Senegal was the first for the country since the 1974 edition of the tournament in Puerto Rico when the Philippines beat Central African Republic, 87-86.
“The performance of Gilas Pilipinas is the culmination of particular efforts from various sectors and stakeholders, buoyed by the broad support from the Filipino people,” the senator said.
Senate Resolution No. 900 pays tribute to the entire Gilas Pilipinas, headed by coach Chot Reyes and team members Jimmy Alapag, LA Tenorio, Jeff Chan, Jayson Castro, Gary David, Ranidel De Ocampo, Gabe Norwood, Andray Blatche, June Mar Fajardo, Paul Lee, Japeth Aguilar, and Marc Pingris.
Also commended were team manager Aboy Castro, assistant coaches Jong Uichico, Vincent Reyes, and Norman Black, along with Manny V. Pangilinan for his vital contributions to the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP), and to Philippine basketball in general.
Angara was also the author of the law granting Filipino citizenship to Blatche, who has integrated well with Gilas Pilipinas as he emerged the top rebounder of the tournament with 13.8 boards per game and second top scorer with an average of 21.2 points.
Except for Greece, 82-70, Gilas Pilipinas lost its game against Croatia (81-78 OT), Argentina (85-81), and Puerto Rico (77-73) by an average margin of 3.6 points.
“These results do not fully convey the team’s heartfelt performance which has drawn the attention of journalists, game analysts, and basketball fans all over the world, who have anecdotally expressed that the games could have easily swung differently to see the Philippines through to the second round,” said Angara.
“The Gilas Pilipinas indeed exemplified self-discipline and teamwork that captured the respect and esteem not only of Filipinos but of the other nations as well.”