DESPITE the fate Gilas Pilipinas suffered in the last FIBA World Cup, the national team was still accorded the appreciation it deserved in the form of a giant mural in Valenzuela City.
The colorful painting shows the present and former team captains of Gilas Pilipinas, Gabe Norwood and Jimmy Alapag, adorning the walls of a basketball half-court in Pio Valenzuela.
Norwood is shown dribbling a basketball beside a smaller image of his iconic dunk over Argentina’s Luis Scola during the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.
Alapag’s portrait, meanwhile, depicts him celebrating Gilas’ memorable semifinal victory over South Korea in the 2013 FIBA Asia Men’s Championship in Manila.
Etched in the murals are the words ‘Para sa Bayan, Duyan ka ng Magiting,’ and the old Gilas battle cry ‘Laban Pilipinas, Puso.’
The national team recognition was again the idea of Valenzuela Rep. Eric Martinez to promote sports in the city.
The Gilas Pilipinas mural comes at a time when the national team is still reeling from a winless campaign in the World Cup in China.
The Filipinos lost all five games they played by an average margin of 29.4 points to finish dead last in the field of 32 teams.
The national team sketch is the latest basketball-themed mural that can be seen around Valenzuela.
Previously, NBA-inspired basketball courts featuring the Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs, Kobe Bryant, Kyrie Irving, Golden State Warriors, and Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls had been built in different barangays in the city.
The legendary Avelino ‘Samboy’ Lim also had a life-sized statue erected in his honor in Valenzuela.