THE awarding of a P1 million bonus to Gilas Pilipinas for its inspiring performance in the recent FIBA World Cup in Spain highlights the opening of the 3rd Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship (PSSBC) Ironcon Builders Cup on Nov. 8 at the Chiang Kai Shek College gym in Tondo, Manila.
The Nationals tallied just a win in five games in the biggest basketball stage, but the impact of their 81-79 overtime win over the taller Senegal squad was not lost on Filipino cage patrons.
The feat – considered by billionaire businessman Manny V. Pangilinan as one for the ages – also prompted Hapee Toothpaste big boss Dr. Cecilio Pedro, Ever Bilena-Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy, and Freego’s Eduard Tio to raise a P1 million bonus to be shared by the players and coaching staff.
“It’s just fitting that we will hand the bonus to Gilas in front of our youngsters so that they will be inspired further not because of the reward but for the passion and fire Gilas dished out during the tournament ,” said Pedro. “I just hope the future batch of Gilas Pilipinas will come from this bunch of players.”
“We’re very proud of what Gilas did during the World Cup,” said Tio. “It was a momentous occasion.”
The last time a Philippine team won in the event (then known as the World Championship) came in 1973 when the country beat another team from Africa, the Central African Republic.
“It took us 36 years before we finally savored the sweet taste of victory, so it’s just fitting that we give them a bonus,” added Sy.
Pedro, Sy, and Tio comprise the PSSBC Board along with Rain or Shine’s Terry Que, Ironcon Builders’ Jimi Lim, MEC Computers’ Leoncio Chua, Dickies Underwear’s Rudy Yu and Jumbo Plastic Linoleum’s Jimmy dela Cruz.