Lost luggage means nothing as national team arrives with ‘gift’ | Inquirer Sports

Lost luggage means nothing as national team arrives with ‘gift’

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 05:03 AM February 27, 2019

Gilas Pilipinas arrived to a welcome fit for heroes on Monday night with coach Yeng Guiao and rugged forward RR Pogoy embracing the adulation even if their luggage was lost in transit.

“It might have been left in Dubai or wherever, but I don’t care. I will never forget this experience,” Pogoy said in Filipino at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, where a small crowd of well-wishers cheered loudly for Guiao, who steered the Filipinos to two overseas wins and back to the Fiba World Cup that will be held in China later this year.

“We all know that Filipinos love basketball so much,” Guiao said. “This is our gift to them.”

Gilas pulled off victories over Qatar and Kazakhstan in a three-day span, shrugging off the effects of long plane rides and varying weather to punch one of the last World Cup tickets reserved for Asia.

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“What we did took a lot from us,” point guard Jason Castro said in Filipino. “The plane trips were tough, the climate was difficult to handle, and almost straight from the (Kazakhstan) game, we had to go to the airport [for the flight to home].

“But it’s all worth it, seeing that our countrymen are happy,” he added.

The Philippines was the seventh qualifier from Asia, joining host China, Australia, New Zealand, Jordan, Japan and Iran in the 32-nation main draw which the Chinese will host in eight cities from Aug. 31-Sept. 15.

“I know our countrymen didn’t waver in their faith, and our National team didn’t let them down,” said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, who traveled to both Doha and Astana together with members of the board to support Gilas.

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TAGS: Gilas Pilipinas, RR Pogoy, Yeng Guiao

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