‘This is the greatest battle of our lives’—Pangilinan | Inquirer Sports

‘This is the greatest battle of our lives’—Pangilinan

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 09:52 AM October 03, 2015

CHANGSHA CITY, China—Manny V. Pangilinan, the business tycoon who also happens to be the national basketball team godfather, practically wrote this story.

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“This is the greatest battle of our lives,” Pangilinan told the Inquirer past Friday midnight, shortly after Gilas Pilipinas earned a you-or-me shot at powerhouse China for the lone Olympic berth staked in the Fiba Asia Championship here.

“I can only ask our people for prayers for our team,” he continued. “The Chinese are very good, this will be a very tough game.”

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The Filipinos will be up against a veritable Great Wall, with China bannered by four 7-footers and agile forwards standing 6-foot-6 and above.

READ: Gilas Pilipinas nips Japan, faces China in Fiba Asia 2015 final

This will mark the first time that the Philippines and China will be battling for the Asian championship, and what makes the stakes double is that right to represent the continent in the Rio De Janeiro Games in Brazil in 2016.

“We’ve come this far, it’s been a long journey for Gilas,” Pangilinan said. “There have been a lot of ups and downs (for the team).”

Considering what went on—the intramurals in the PBA—which resulted in several players holding out and some not being released for national duty, this batch of nationals has certainly overachieved.

Game time is 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and the Filipinos will be playing in front of a crowd that will be willing to fail each time.

“We’ll be going up against the crowd, the referees, who knows how they will officiate this game,” Pangilinan said.

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And that’s just another one of those odds that Gilas Pilipinas will have to overcome, which these Filipinos are not aliens to. RAM

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TAGS: Basketball, Brazil, China, Fiba Asia Championship, Gilas Pilipinas, Manny V. Pangilinan, MVP, Olympic, PBA, Rio De Janeiro Games, Sports
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