Upon arrival late Monday, people at the airport chanted “Gilas! Gilas! Gilas” to the beat of the drums in a warm welcome while Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios led the welcoming group that offered flowers to coach Yeng Guiao and his team.
FIBA.com
Nationals get warm welcome
Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - February 27, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas players and coaches received a heroes’ welcome at the Dubai departure area and the NAIA upon their arrival from a successful campaign in the FIBA World Cup qualifier.

Upon arrival late Monday, people at the airport chanted “Gilas! Gilas! Gilas” to the beat of the drums in a warm welcome while Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios led the welcoming group that offered flowers to coach Yeng Guiao and his team.

Guiao and Roger Pogoy were the last to emerge from the arrival area as their luggage got lost in transit. Even then, they were all smiles, seeing a big crowd that awaited Gilas’ arrival.

“It’s heart-warming. Suddenly, I forgot that we’re tired as I really felt our effort was well appreciated,” said Gilas skipper Gabe Norwood.

“It was tiring and draining, just imagine the long trip, the extreme weather condition, playing two tough games, then the flight back home practically straight from our last game. Pero tanggal ang pagod kasi kita namin na napasaya namin ang mga tao,” said Jayson Castro.

Guiao himself appreciated the effort and sacrifices of his team, knowing they did it not for anything else but just to serve the country.

“Wala kaming pinag-usapang incentives dito or anything. Just playing for the country is enough. It’s a wholehearted effort to play for the country,” said Guiao.

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

In stringing up crucial wins over Qatar and Kazakhstan in the FIBAWC final window, Gilas Pilipinas joined China, Australia, New Zealand, Jordan, Japan and Iran in their march to the World Cup proper.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, on behalf of the PBA board, expressed his appreciation to the warm welcome of the fans and gave his kudos to the national team.

“I know our countrymen didn’t waver in their faith, and our national team didn’t let them down. Our Nationals made our country proud,” said Marcial, who along with the members of the PBA board, was right behind the Nationals in their battles in Doha and Astana.

BASKETBALL FIBA WORLD CUP GILAS PILIPINAS
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