MANILA, Philippines—President Aquino on Monday commended Gilas Pilipinas’ fighting heart it exemplified in its gold medal match against Iran in the 27th FIBA Asia Championship last Sunday night.
The Filipinos lost to the bigger Iranians but not after putting up a gallant stand until the final buzzer and Aquino himself was a witness to it.
“Perhaps just a little reflection on last night’s basketball game: We won at least the silver position, or the first-runner up position. We are not yet blessed with the height necessary to become a dominant power in the world of basketball. We even lost our center due to an injury, and it was really encouraging, at least on my part, to view our countrymen not giving in to a sense of, perhaps defeat by just accepting the fact that these guys are above seven-feet tall and they’re really, kind of, difficult to beat,” admired Aquino in a speech at the Brother Industries Inc. factory inauguration ceremony in Tanauan City, Batangas, Monday.
“But up to the last few seconds, they (Gilas Pilipinas) never gave up. They showed the respect that was earned by their playing in previous games. They were not treated as unworthy opponent by our opponents,” Aquino added. “So, give the Filipino the right environment and you will be surprised at what he will deliver.”
Aquino watched intently at one of the suites in the VIP gallery of the Mall of Asia Arena. He waved to the crowd shortly after his presence was acknowledged by the Arena barker.