- Gilas Pilipinas team narrowly escaped the bombing in an airport in Istanbul, Turkey
- Marc Pingris and naturalized player Andray Blatche took to Instagram to express their relief
- The Gilas team were in the airport less than 5 hours before three suicide bombers blew themselves up, killing dozens of people
Members of the men’s national basketball team of the Philippines Gilas Pilipinas were both shocked and relieved after narrowly escaping the bombing in an airport in Istanbul, Turkey.
The team arrived in Manila from Turkey just hours before three suicide bombers blew themselves up Istanbul Ataturk Airport; killing 36 people and leaving hundreds injured.
The team’s head coach Tab Baldwin, who was once a coach in the Turkish Super League, took to Twitter to thank the Lord for the Gilas team, as well as team Turkey, for being safe.
“Turkey was my home 4 nearly 3 years. So saddened & worried for friends there. Thank the Lord our Gilas and Turk teams are safe. #Prayers,” the American coach tweeted.
Mark Giongco of Inquirer said Marc Pingris, one of the team’s forward, expressed his relief via an Instagram post.
“Grabe dito lang kami kanina pauwi ng Manila wala pang five hours bago nangyari to. LORD SALAMAT SA PAG GABAY MO SA AMIN NG TEAM GILAS. #prayforturkey #istanbul,” Pingris wrote on his Instagram account where he shared a CNN report about the bombing.
[‘Wow. We were just here on our way home to Manila. It was less than five hours before this happened. Lord, thanks for keeping Team Gilas safe]
“Me and my teammates was just there. Wow. Thank you God for watching over us. I’m really lost for words. I woke up to a lot of texts from friends checking on me. I’m ok. Thanx love ya!” said naturalized player Andray Blatche in a separate Instagram post.