Meet the drummers for Gilas Pilipinas
MANILA, Philippines -- Even up in the General Admission section of the Mall of Asia Arena, patriotism is very much ablaze.
Celebrating the time of their lives by banging bass and snare drums while wildly cheering for Gilas Pilipinas, these students want to help the country regain basketball supremacy one beat at a time.
"Kakaiba. I am speechless," Jericho Villagracia, who leads the group invited by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, told Rappler. "Hindi ko ma-express ang feelings ko na tumutugtog ako para sa bansa."
With an aim to make the Mall of Asia Arena the most dangerous place to be in for teams going up against the Philippines, the band of drummers from Jose Rizal University and San Beda College are banging their instruments as they lead the home crowd in every cheer and jeer reverberating all over the venue.
"Masaya mag-cheer for your school, pero this time, I am representing our country," said Aidan Cervantes, a Marketing Management senior from SBC. "Masaya na ako na makapunta lang dito pero mas masaya kapag nananalo ang bansa na chini-cheer namin."
In the 6 games that Gilas has played in this tournament, tickets have been hard to find as fans have repeatedly filled up the Mall of Asia Arena, prompting even FIBA Asia itself to call the Filipino crowd "the biggest and loudest they've ever seen."
“Kakaiba ‘yung feeling kapag nale-lead mo ‘yung buong crowd sa pag-cheer,” Villagracia added.
Gilas Pilipinas has made it deep into the competition, joining the best of Asia in the last 8. But the road only gets tougher for them as they face stronger opponents with little or no room at all for error.
“Suportahan natin ang buong Pilipinas sa pag-sabay sa pag-cheer namin. Sayang ang homecourt advantage eh, gamitin natin,” quipped Cervantes. - Rappler.com