ANTIPOLO CITY – After lending a hand to Team Pilipinas in the last Asian Games, former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Bong Go is set to come on board the national team.
On Sunday, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) appointed Go as head delegation of the Philippine quad for the fifth window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers which the country is hosting on Nov. 30 and Dec. 3.
SBP president Al Panlilio and PBA commissioner Willie Marcial made the announcement on Sunday at the Ynares Center during halftime of Game 1 of the Meralco-Alaska Governors Cup semifinals series.
A known basketball enthusiast, Go was grateful to be made part of the national team under coach Yeng Guiao, who has been his longtime friend as well as a supporter of President Duterte.
As head of delegation, Go is likely to drop by and visit Team Pilipinas in its practices, which starts on Monday night at the Meralco gym.
“Matagal ko na pong mahal ang basketball. At gusto ko rin pong makatulong sa ating Philippine team. Kung ano man po ang maitutulong ko sa national team ay gagawin natin. Ako po ang magiging tulay ninyo sa Pangulo kung paano tayo makakatulong,” he said.
“SAP pa rin ako – Special Assistant to the Philippine team.”
Go played a key role in convincing the SBP to reconsider its decision not to send a team to the last Asiad in Jakarta, Indonesia by holding a last-minute meeting with Marcial, Panlilio, and SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan.
Team Pilipinas will be hosting Kazakhstan on Nov. 30, followed by Iran on Dec. 3, both at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Before that, the national team will have tune-up games against Jordan (Nov. 19 and 21) and Lebanon (Nov. 23 and 25).