Gilas Pilipinas exits Fiba World Championship with a victory
SEVILLE, Spain – Gilas Pilipinas ends its FIBA World Championship campaign with a win.
They may not have made it to the next round, but fans are still proud of the national team.
Rodneil Quiteles files this report from Seville, Spain.
After 5 tries, Gilas Pilipinas finally wins a game in the FIBA World Cup defeating Senegal, 81 to 79.
RUN PHOTO ALAPAG HANDS UP AFTER WIN
It's the first win for the Philippines in 40 years and passionate Filipino basketball fans from all over the world are elated.
RAMIL PARANTAR, FILIPINO GILAS PILIPINAS FAN FROM NORWAY: Overall po, the best. Mataas po. Despite na 1-4 tayo, pero makikita ninyo naman sa lahat ng laro nila e close game po (Overall, their performance was really high. Even though we finished with a 1-4 record, we saw in all the games, they were right there.)
ROY PAUNLAGUI, GILAS PILIPINAS FAN FROM BATANGAS: Flew all the way here galing pang Santo Tomas, Batangas just to watch the win. Sulit na sulit! Iba, iba. Daig pa ang nag-champion. Kaya natin 'to makakapasok pa ulit tayo. (Flew all the way here from Santo Tomas, Batangas just to watch the win. It was worth it!. It's a great feeling, even better than winning the championship. We can do it. We can make it to the World Cup again.
Gilas head coach Chot Reyes is happy with the win, but can't help but feel a little regret.
CHOT REYES, GILAS PILIPINAS HEAD COACH: One lucky bounce here, one lucky bounce there. Croatia game, Jeff's last shot, Jayson's last opportunity against Argentina. Had we converted then we would be going to Madrid now. There's just a tinge of regret for that.
But he says they did enough to prove the country belongs to the world stage
CHOT REYES, GILAS PILIPINAS HEAD COACH: We showed the whole tournament that we belong, that we could compete, and tonight we showed that we could win.
It's a promising run for a team. Many thought they would not come so close to their opponents. Gilas Pilipinas showed the world the Philippine brand of basketball, staying true to never giving up fighting with all their hearts. Team captain Jimmy Alapag hopes the next group to wear the Gilas jersey will take the country to the next level.
JIMMY ALAPAG, GILAS PILIPINAS TEAM CAPTAIN: I'm just praying that the next generation, the next group of guys will continue to work and bring the Philippines back into the world stage, try to get two wins, and get to the second round.
Rodneil Quiteles, Rappler. Spain.