MALACAÑANG has joined the entire Filipino nation in congratulating the men’s national basketball team, Gilas Pilipinas, for winning the silver medal in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship.
Gilas Pilipinas tried to conquer the odds against host country, China, during their finals match at the Changsha Social Work Colleges gymnasium but came up short in taking the gold.
The Filipinos also won silver in the 2013 edition held in Manila, which allowed the country to return to the World Cup after almost 40 years.
Boasting a much taller lineup and home court advantage, China dominated the entire game wire-to-wire (78-67), thus getting an outright spot to the 31st Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil next year.
In a statement sent shortly after the game on Saturday, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda conveyed that Gilas Pilipinas had nothing to be ashamed of in their loss.
“We join the Filipino people in celebrating Gilas Pilipinas’ silver medal finish in the 2015 FIBA Asia Basketball Championships,” Lacierda said.
“Throughout this tournament, our team displayed the Philippine brand of selfless, creative, passionate basketball, fuelled by the warm and vocal support of Filipinos at home and abroad,” he added.
Lacierda commended all Gilas Pilipinas players, the team’s coaching staff, and their supporters for never giving up on that elusive quest to once again represent our basketball-loving nation in the Olympic stage.
“Our people have shown the world what it means to be Filipino, and this serves as inspiration for all of us to work even harder in our respective endeavors, fulfill our individual potentials, and secure the national pride we have reclaimed, one success after another, in varying fields,” he said.
“We encourage all our countrymen to continue their support for our athletes in general, and for Gilas Pilipinas in particular, as they continue to pursue our collective basketball dream of landing a berth in the 2016 Olympics,” Lacierda said.
As runner-up in the competition, Gilas Pilipinas still has a chance to earn an Olympic slot should they make it to the top three in the wildcard round happening in July next year.
The Philippines will be joined by FIBA Asia bronze medalist Iran and fourth placer Japan in the tournament along with 15 other national teams from Europe, Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. (SDR/Sunnex)