IT’S no surprise if some Filipino hoop fans welcomed the change in Gilas Pilipinas’ game schedule in the Fiba Asia Championship to prime time.
The national dribblers, who usually saw action in the morning or afternoon, a time when most local fans are at work or school, was to take on Lebanon in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 9:30 p.m.
The shift meant more fans could watch their favorite basketball players on TV in action representing the country.
The same goes for PBA teams, which are also eager to support the national team, but usually hold practice sessions in mid-mornings.
Particularly, Alaska, which lent the most number of representatives: Calvin Abueva, Dondon Hontiveros, Sonny Thoss, and coach Alex Compton, was forced to move its 1 p.m. practice at Hoops Center 30 minutes back to finish watching the upset against Iran at noon last Monday.
“Kasi kung hindi namin tatapusin (yung laro), yun din ang iniisip namin sa practice,” Aces assistant coach Louie Alas said in a short chat with Spin.ph. “Kaya sabi ko, ‘guys, let’s finish the game before we practice.’”