Spain stint ‘now the dream of Filipino people’By Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A RARE stint in the World Championship in Madrid, Spain, next year is not the sole dream anymore of Gilas Pilipinas.
“This is now the dream of the Filipino people,” Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas vice chair Ricky Vargas told the team during a dinner Thursday with players and the coaching staff.
“I’m sure that you are well aware of how (Filipinos) have embraced you in the past few days. You are making our country forget so many national issues now.”
Vargas said SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan is like a proud father to the team, grateful for what they have achieved so far considering that the country was suspended for three years by the Fiba and was allowed back into international play only in 2007.
“Let us not forget where we came from,” Vargas quoted Pangilinan as saying.
On a lighter note, Vargas confessed that he takes a sedative every time the Filipinos see action. He readily showed the Inquirer a Valium 10 pill, which he said he would take 10 minutes before last night’s game against Kazakhstan.
“That’s why you don’t see me getting all pumped up and excited in the stands,” Vargas, the president of Maynilad, said. “I need this, because I might have a heart attack. It’s in my family’s medical history.”
Vargas said the only time he didn’t take his Valium was during the game against Hong Kong Wednesday night, when he thought that it would be smooth sailing for the Filipinos.
“I completely lost it (during the game),” Vargas said. “I was cursing at our players. I really thought that I wouldn’t get excited during that game, that’s why I left my Valium back home.”