SAP Go elated by PH’s 1st win in Asian Games
By Jelly Musico
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher “Bong” Go on Thursday was delighted by Gilas Pilipinas’ victory despite the country’s last-minute decision to field a basketball team in the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Go, a basketball enthusiast, was one of those who appealed to the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to send a basketball team in the quadrennial multi-sports meet.
“Masaya ako dahil isa ako sa mga Filipino fans na umapela na magpadala ng team kahit hindi manalo (I’m happy because I was one of the Filipino fans who appealed to send team even if will not win),” Go said in a media interview during the 6th Competiveness Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center.
The SBP, the country’s basketball governing body, initally decided not to join the Asian Games amid the decision of International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to suspend 10 Gilas players involved in a free-for-all brawl that marred the World Cup qualifying match between Philippines and Australia.
This prompted Go to intervene, resulting in the decision of the PBA to send one of its teams, Rain or Shine, to the Asian Games.
Mentored by veteran coach Yeng Guiao, the Philippines opened its campaign on a high note with an 96-59 domination over Kazakhstan.
Go said the victory is expected to boost the morale of the Gilas Pilipinas that is going into their next game against powerhouse China.
“Now that we won in the first game and most likely we can enter the quarterfinals, this gave our team high morale,” Go said.
Go admitted “it’s a tall order” for the Filipino dribblers but they will give the Chinese a good fight.
“Alam ko takot din ang China dahil kahit maliliit tayo and dehado (I know China is also afraid despite our lack of height and at a disadvantage), we can pull some surprises when it comes to basketball,” he said.
Cleveland Cavalliers’ Fil-Am guard Jordan Clarkson is expected to play for Gilas after missing the game against Kazakhstan.
Go asked the Filipino people to pray for Gilas Pilipinas’ successful campaign.
“I think our team will have a good chance. They will give China a good fight. Let’s pray for them,” Go said. (PNA)