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    A tattoo to celebrate World Cup high as Gilas heroics leave indelible mark on fan

    Sep 9, 2014

    HOW far will you go to show your support for the Philippine team?

    Well, one rabid sports fan went to the point of having the Gilas Pilipinas logo tattooed on his chest, close to his heart, where it belongs.

    Meet Jeff Manahan, 37, a former call center agent who was so moved by Gilas' landmark victory over Senegal in the Fiba World Cup that he chose to commemorate it with an indelible mark on his body.

    “Matagal na po akong sumusuporta sa national team natin. Pero ngayon lang ako naging vocal. Kasi nasaksihan ko mismo ang pagbangon ng Philippine basketball,”  Manahan, who is very active in different basketball fora on the internet, told Spin.ph.

    Manahan said Gilas' experience in Spain is no different from having a tattoo done, comparing the team's heartbreaking losses to Croatia, Puerto Rico and Argentina to the pain of being inked.

    “Kaya ko naisipan na ipa-tattoo ito, kasi ikinumpara ko ang campaign ng Gilas sa pagpapa-tattoo. Di ba sa umpisa ng tattoo, masakit. Ganun din naging takbo ng Gilas sa Spain, masakit sa una. Kasi puro talo,” he said.

    Manahan claimed that seeing the flag of the Philippines being waved anew in the pinnacle of world basketball was a very emotional moment for him and millions of basketball-crazy Pinoy fans.

    “Iba ang pakiramdam na kasali ang Pilipinas sa pinaka-importanteng liga ng basketball sa mundo. Hindi ko talaga inisip na sa tanang buhay ko mapapanood ko at makikita ko na lalaro ulit tayo dun,” he said.

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    “Iba ang pakiramdam talaga na best in the world ang kinakalaban ng team natin. Kasi sa PBA nga lang, pag pinapanood ko na team ko, napapahiya at nagwawala ako. How much more ito, sariling bansa natin sinusuportahan ko,” said the loyal San Miguel Beer fan.

    [See Pangilinan signifies Philippine intention to make 'serious bid' for hosting of 2019 Fiba World Cup]

    Asked what pushed him to permanently lace himself with the national team logo, Manahan claimed it started as a ‘spur of the moment’ dare with friends.

    “Actually, may iba kasi nanngangako na pagnanalo Gilas, ‘Bibili ng ganito, ganun,'" said the San Mateo, Rizal native. “Eh nagkahamunan kami ng mga kaibigan ko nun na kung mananalo tayo sa Puerto Rico, ipapa-tattoo ko ang logo ng Gilas. Kaso natalo tayo dun.

    “Pero nakita ko naman ang puso na ipinapakita ng team, kaya sabi ko kahit sa last game na Senegal itutuloy ko na (ang pagpapa-tattoo pag nanalo),” he said of his skin art made by his good friend Jerome Linco.

    Manahan explained that he chose the Gilas logo because it aptly represents the whole team and not just an individual.

    “Papalagyan ko pa nga sana ng number ni June Mar Fajardo yan sa gilid, kaso nagdalawang isip ako kasi baka kinabukasan magpalit siya ng jersey number,” he laughed.

    The Gilas tattoo is the third skin ink for Manahan, with his first a Naruto character on his back and the second a Nordic Compass on his forearm.

    Manahan said he is open to add another Gilas tattoo to his body, depending on how the national team will fare in the coming Asian Games, set in Incheon, South Korea later this month.

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    “Pahinga muna, then titignan ko kung ano ang takbo ng kampanya nila sa Asian Games. So most likely papa-tattoo ulit ako,” Manahan said.

    And what will the next one be?

    “Hindi ko pa sure kung ano ang magiging logo nila. Pero malamang hashtag,” he said, adding he is looking at #LabanPilipinas or #ParaSaBayan hashtags.

    “Most likely ipapa-tattoo ko yan bago matapos ang campaign. Tapos 'pag malaki ang stake natin for gold baka magdagdag pa ko ulit ng isa baka yung trophy o medal ng Asian Games. Pero pag-iisipan ko pa,” Manahan said.

    [See Next challenge for Gilas officials is on how to sustain gains after World Cup high]

    Jeff Manahan proudly displays the tattoo done by good friend Jerome Linco.

     

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