Gilas Pilipinas feels like champion as they arrives home to a heroes' welcome. Calvin Abueva Instagram photo

Gilas Pilipinas arrives home to heroes' welcome

MANILA, Philippines -- Gilas Pilipinas arrived to a heroes' welcome following its silver-medal finish in the just-concluded Fiba-Asia men's championships in Changsa, China.

Fans and media mobbed the national team upon their arrival on Monday morning. 

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Barrios said the Filipinos may have fallen short of their goal of winning the Asian cage championships and earn an outright ticket to next year's Rio Olympics, but encouraged everyone to 'savor Gilas' runner-up feat', nonetheless.

"We want to savour the silver medal in the meantime and give glory to our 12 basketball heroes," Barrios told

"We're not thinking of anything else sa ngayon."

The Filipinos bowed to the taller Chinese side, 78-67 in the gold-medal game on Saturday night in a match that was marred by spotty officiating.

Gilas was expected to arrived Sunday night in Manila but was later moved to Monday morning due to a delay in their flight from Hong Kong.

Asked to comment on the PBA's pledge of support to Gilas in its future tournament, Barrios declined to make any comment.

"No comment to the alleged 'all-out support'," he added.

On the eve of the Fiba-Asia finals between Team PHL and China, new commissioner Chito Narvasa and incoming PBA chairman Robert Non pledged their support once more for Gilas despite the fact that the Olympic qualifying tournament set on July 2016 will run smack in the pro league's schedule for its 41st season.

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