Senator hails ‘new era in PH basketball’ | Inquirer News
19th Asian Games

Senator hails ‘new era in PH basketball’

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 05:20 AM October 09, 2023

Juan Edgardo Angara

Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara (FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara on Sunday expressed optimism that the historic victory of the Gilas Pilipinas in the 19th Asian Games would usher in a “new era in Philippine basketball.”

Angara, chair of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), said the men’s national basketball team’s gold medal finish in the Asiad couldn’t have come at a more opportune time as it happened ahead of the qualifying tournament for the Paris Olympics next year.


“It will be a huge challenge to clinch a spot in the Olympics. But with the way Gilas has been playing and with the support of the entire nation behind them, nothing is impossible,” Angara said in a statement.


READ: PH tourism gets big boost from 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup

Led by naturalized American reinforcement Justin Brownlee, Gilas made all the necessary adjustments to snare the country’s first basketball gold in 61 years by toppling Jordan, 70-60, on Friday night in Hangzhou, China.

The senator, himself a basketball aficionado, praised the Gilas players for “defying the odds” to become the best basketball team in Asia, a performance that practically erased the Nationals’ lackluster showing in the Fiba World Cup that the country hosted last month.

“The odds were against us. Jordan was the favorite to win the finals with the way it ran through its opponents on the road to the finals,” Angara said.

Jordan, bannered by its naturalized American player and Philippine Basketball Association import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, had won over Gilas, 87-62, during their group stage match.

“But the Philippine team never lost its focus and got huge morale boosts with its victories over Asian powerhouses Iran and China,” the SBP chair noted.


“In the end, Gilas just wanted it more. Everyone on the team stepped up, played hard, and never lost sight of its goal of bringing the Philippines back to the pinnacle of Asian basketball,” Angara said.

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TAGS: Juan Edgardo Angara, Philippine basketball, Samahang Basketbol ngn Pilipinas

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