INCHEON, South Korea — Expect the Filipino community to come out and watch Gilas Pilipinas in action in the 2014 Asian Games.
Filipinos in Incheon as well as in neighboring cities are very much looking forward to watching Gilas Pilipinas play in the Asiad which begins on Tuesday against India at the Hwaseong Sports Complex, even if it takes a one-hour drive from the city proper just to get there.
“Oo, excited na ako. Hindi na nga ako makatulog para bukas (Tuesday),” said factory worker Gary Quibuyen, who watched Gilas Pilipinas in practice at the Songdo High School gym on Monday.
Quibuyen said excitement over the Gilas Pilipinas game is so overwhelming to the Filipino community that some of them will not report to work on Tuesday for the first game against India.
“Maraming manonood. Mag-aabsent sila sa trabaho. Gilas Pilipinas ang priority nila. Ito talaga ang hinihintay,” said Quibuyen, who bought a general admission ticket worth 10,000 won (about US$10).
“Excited talaga. Dumayo kami para makapanood. Kahit may pasok talaga, dadayuhin namin,” said Joker Gonzales, also one of few who watched the second practice of Gilas Pilipinas.
Quibuyen said he watched practice on Tuesday after his co-worker Ronald Merudo posted photos on Facebook of him with Gilas players.
“Sobrang excited ako dahil nandito mga PBA players. Sa tropa namin, manonood kami. Mga 20 din kami,” said Merudo.
Quibuyen said the Filipino community in South Korea is very active in basketball as they usually play in tournaments and practices during weekends.
“Ang maganda sa Korea, priority ang sports dito kaya maraming parks na puwedeng paglaruan,” said Quibuyen.
Korea-based Filipinos, however, will have a problem if Gilas reaches far in the tournament as tickets are reportedly sold out for the semifinals and the finals. As to who bought the tickets is still unknown.
“May nag-post kasi sa Facebook na tiga-rito na semifinals hanggang finals, soldout na raw ang ticket,” said Quibuyen, obviously concerned that he won’t be seeing Gilas in the latter part of the tournament.