Duterte performs ceremonial toss before Gilas vs France game

Duterte performs ceremonial toss before Gilas vs France game

Josh Albelda/RAPPLER

President Duterte takes center court before the Philippines plays France in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament

MANILA, Philippines – Prior to Gilas Pilipinas’ game against France on the first day of the FIBA Manila Olympic Qualifying tournament on Tuesday, July 5, new Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte took center court and provided the ceremonial toss.

Duterte, who was inaugurated just last week, walked to the loud chants of “Duterte!” from fans at the Mall of Asia Arena. After greeting players from both teams, the 16th president of the Philippines tossed the ball up and received even more applause. Duterte, 71, even joked by attempting to jump for the ball after tossing it up between naturalized Filipino Andray Blatche and France’s Joffrey Lauvergne.

Photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

Photo by Josh Albelda/ Rappler

The game started not long after, with Blatche getting the first basket of the game. – Rappler.com

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