THANKS to the brilliant idea and persuading power of Batang Gilas team manager Andrew Teh, Gilas Pilipinas still has the benefit of having its `sixth man’ around when it tackles Kazakhstan in its final quarterfinal game in the 17th Asian Games.
Teh was able to convince Asiad organizers to issue special passes to hundreds of Filipino fans who will only watch the game between the national team and the Kazakhs.
Tickets to Sunday’s scheduled ballgames at the HwaSeong Sports Complex were sold out as the main game of the day set at 6:45 p.m. features the host country battling Qatar.
With no more available tickets, Filipino fans, who came from different parts of Korea to support Gilas, were obviously left disappointed.
“Madami talaga ang disappointed kanina,” said PBA chairman Patrick Gregorio, who was with the Philippine delegation that assisted Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) wanting to watch the game.
But then Teh got into the picture and made the special concession that was readily granted by organizers.
“Andrew made a very interesting pact with the Koreans. He was able to convince them to sell special game tickets just for the Gilas game,” Gregorio added.
Filipino fans can now watch the game between Gilas and Kazakhstan with the assurance that they will immediately vacate the arena to allow the Korea-Qatar fans to watch the game later on.
Teh said he patterned his proposal in cinemas and theaters wherein moviegoers are only given one screening access.
“It was a very brilliant idea from Andrew. He is our ‘national hero’ here in Incheon. Pinoys are very happy,” Gregorio said as he mingles with Filipino fans inside the arena.
“This is one indication that we should never give up in supporting Gilas. This is not just for us, it is also for the millions of OFW’s abroad. Tuloy ang laban,” added the Smart Sports head.
The Kazakhstan game serves as the last card of Gilas to make the semifinals of the quadrennial meet. An 11-point winning margin over the Kazakhs and a victory later on by the Koreans over the Qataris will have the Filipinos making the Final Four outright.