Homecourt edge a big help should PH host OQT says Pingris
(Philstar.com) - November 11, 2015 - 3:00am

MANILA, Philippines -- Should the Philippines win the bid to host the Olympic qualifying tournament in July 2016, Gilas Pilipinas forward Marc Pingris is confident that basketball-crazy Pinoy fans are expected to pack the venue to support them all the way.

The 6-foot-5 Pingris pointed back to the 2013 FIBA Asia men’s championships as his basis, citing the passion of the Filipinos fans, who trooped to the Mall of Asia Arena to support Gilas.

“Siyempre malaking bagay iyun (homecourt advantage). Malaking advantage yun kasi alam niyo naman para sa Pinoy, no. 1 ang basketball saka kitang kita naman natin dito sa (2013) FIBA Asia kahit umuulan, pumipila sila mapanood lang kami,” said Pingris, a member of the 17-man national pool that began its once-a-week practice on Monday night.

Noted for his hardwork and dedication in the game, the Star Hotshots forward said the Filipino fans’ loud cheer and tears during Gilas’ finals loss to eventual champion Iran in the 2013 edition remains fresh in their minds.

“Kapag nanalo tayo, umiiyak sila (Filipino fans).  Kahit di tayo nag-champion, nakapila sila kahit pa umuulan. Saka umiiyak sila panalo or matalo tayo, kaya napapaiyak din kami,” recalled the pride of Pozzorubio, Pangasinan.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is expected to submit the requirements for the country’s official bid for the qualifying tournament on Wednesday.

Should the Philippines win the bid, SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said the Mall of Asia Arena will be the main venue for all the games.

The tournament is scheduled from July 5-10.

ACIRC GILAS PILIPINAS KAHIT MALL OF ASIA ARENA MARC PINGRIS PINGRIS PINOY SAMAHANG BASKETBOL SHOULD THE PHILIPPINES SONNY BARRIOS STAR HOTSHOTS
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