My 8th post on Gilas Pilipinas was dated August 2013 when I first caught them on TV for FIBA Asia Basketball Championships. They were silver medalists which qualifies them for 2014 FIBA World Basketball Championships in Spain.

e49e3bacc6c1

Photo from FIBA.com

Fast forward to last night game against Puerto Rico, the team stands with four straight losses, ousting them to the next qualifying round. However, they fought ’til the end. Numerous articles are now posted on the internet and on papers, news about them are being heard everywhere. I have read this article from Yahoo with the headline: Now more than ever, Gilas needs the country’s support . Then I sent an e-mail to the writer which reads:

Hello Sir,
Your article says so much about our national team.
I wasn’t able to watch the game on tv last night because I have to attend a choir practice at church. I just learned afterwards that the team lost the chance to advance in another round by just four points.
And just like any other fans, it was heartbreaking. Really. More heartbreaking than the last battle against Argentina. Yes. They lost in a war but they fought with all their greatest weapons — spirit, strength, and the heart for our country.
Reading your article made me cry. But it made me more proud than ever. However, those hate comments from fellow Filipinos annoyed me, pointing fingers to anyone in the team, saying bad words because of the loss. How can they be so heartless?? They are not the ones who faced the opponents inside the basketball court and yet they have all the negative words to throw at them.
Yeah. The title in your article shouts to anybody else who just glued our eyes to our television set. GILAS NEEDS THE COUNTRY’S SUPPORT. MORE THAN EVER. WIN OR LOSE.
If in any chance, I want to say THANK YOU to the whole Gilas Pilipinas team for reliving the basketball fan in me that was lost when my father died four years ago. I AM PROUD OF THEM. When I was a kid, I do not enjoy watching basketball games. And my father was my enemy when I wanted to watch another show and he too, wanted to watch PBA. We simultaneously switched channels until I gave up, finding myself sitting at the couch beside him, cheering for his favorite team. I stopped watching any basketball games when he died. Until there was Gilas.
It was FIBA Asia when I first watched how they played against Chinese Taipei. Though after series of shoots, turn-overs, rebounds, and countless defenses and offenses, sadly, they lost the game then. I realized that I shouted and cheered like I’ve been doing many years ago. I must say that I miss that kind of feeling. The feeling of excitement, of being proud, the feeling of being a basketball fan.
Today, as the guys reached this far, I would say that they are brave enough to face any country who underestimated their play. They gained the respect of other nations. They are the modern warriors who doesn’t need any sword to kill the enemy. Just heart. PUSO. Pusong Pilipino. Lumalaban hanggang sa huli. 
 
Team Gilas, Saludo ako sa inyo. 
Thank you sir for reading my email. Thank you for your article. I hope it would serve as a lesson to those Filipinos who lost their hearts for our team. Surely, there are greater number of supporters out there who would never lose hope and would be glad to welcome them with heads held high. 
And, if my father is still alive today. He would be the first one to shout out loud, “Laban Pilipinas! PUSO!”

I just wish that I could thank them, for conquering the international basketball fever, for fighting til the end. Cheers to Gilas Pilipinas! 

Advertisements