GILAS Pilipinas endured a little bump on the road on its way to Belgrade, Serbia for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The team had a scary experience in Istanbul, Turkey when the pilot of the connecting flgiht to Belgrade slammed on the breaks just before takeoff.
“It was a scary moment for everyone on-board,” Gilas Pilipinas Compliance Officer Yvette Ruiz told Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) special assistant to the president Ryan Gregorio on Friday night.
Following the incident, all passengers had to disembark and made to transfer to another plane.
“The plane had to return to the terminal and passengers were asked to disembark,” added Ruiz.
“We just had our flight aborted,” added head coach Tab Baldwin.
Safely in Belgrade
The almost two-hour flight from Istanbul, Turkey to Belgrade turned out to be a smooth one as the national team safely arrived in the Serbian capital.
“They had to board a different airplane. Thank God, they landed safely,” added Gregorio.
The national team spent almost three hours at the Istanbul airport from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) before boarding its connecting flight to Belgrade.
The entire Filipino delegation will still observe quarantine protocols in their respective hotels before the team can finally be allowed to practice in preparation for the June 29 to July 4 Olympic qualifier.
Gilas will meet the host team on July 1 followed by Dominican Republic two days after.
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