A group of Filipino-Chinese businessman who are passionate and well known supporters of Philippine basketball, has raised a P1 million incentive for Gilas Pilipinas team if it wins at least two games in the ongoing FIBA World Cup in Spain.
Ever Bilena president Dioceldo Sy told Spin.ph he along with good friends and fellow basketball team owners Dr. Cecilio Pedro and Edward Tio bonded together to raise the special incentive.
“Nag-usap na kami last night nila Dr. Pedro and Mr. Tio na we will put up a P1 million cash incentive for the team. We just want to see them qualify to the next round,” said Sy.
“We already informed the coaching staff of Gilas about it,” said Sy, who is currently in Spain with Pedro and Tio to personally show support to the country’s return campaign in the world championship.
Sy is the owner of PBA expansion team Blackwater Sports, Dr. Pedro owns the Hapee Toothpaste basketball franchise, while Tio is the patriarch of Freego apparel, which sponsors the playing jerseys of some local basketball teams.
After a narrow overtime loss against Croatia in its opening game Saturday night, 81-78, Sy is more than convinced the Philippines can snatch a victory or two in the quadrennial meet, where the best of the best in the world compete.
“We may not have the physique and the height to match well with the superpowers in the tournament, but we have the heart and the skills,” he said.
“I am sure the Filipinos will show the world what we are made of. We are a nation of resilient, tough and strong-willed citizens and our Gilas team will no doubt show it here in Spain,” added Sy.
Gilas is bracketed in Group B and will next face Greece, Argentina, Puerto Rico, and Senegal.
Meanwhile asked if the trio is willing to increase the incentive if and when Gilas wins three games or more, Sy remains committal.
“We will cross the bridge when we get there, but yes we can talk about it,” said Sy.