THE Philippine 18-and-under team of coach Olsen Racela was among the victims of the non-stop rain that began Monday afternoon and flooded most of the major thoroughfares within Metro Manila.
The nationals were rescued Tuesday afternoon after they were holed up at the SGS gym along Araneta Ave. since completing their regular daily practice Monday night. Flood waters in the area and in surrounding vicinities in Quezon Ave. and Del Monte are reportedly chest-deep.
“Energen Pilipinas out of danger already. Thank you for all your prayers. What an experience for us. Now that's what you call team building!,” Racela tweeted after being rescued by Rescue5.
Racela also posted in his Twitter account pictures of the arrival of the rescue team.
The team was stranded at the third level of the gym that also serves as practice venue for PBA D-League teams Big Chill and Blackwater.
Although the team was safe at the gym, it has no sufficient supply of food and water to tide the day, and is only relying on the rations being provided by good Samaritans.
The young players only ate cup noodles and sardines for dinner.
“Gutom na mga bata. Tinutulog na lang,” tweeted assistant coach Nash Racela in his account @scwtN early Tuesday morning.
The elder Racela, meanwhile, expressed his gratitude through his twitter account @ thebigOls to people who brought food at the gym.
Smart Gilas-Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes also did his share in helping the team by relaying the youth team's location to Rescue5 PH.
Reyes tweeted in his account @coachot, "Abang-abangan nyo na sila (rescue). Tell the boys help is on the way. Let me know kung wala pa."
The nationals are currently training for the Fiba-Asia under-18 championship set August 17 to 26 in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. The tournament serves as the qualifier for the Fiba under-19 World Championship.