- Gilas Pilipinas got eliminated from FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament
- They were defeated by New Zealand (89-90)
- The players thanked their fans who never failed to show their support
MANILA, Philippines – Despite being brokenhearted after a nine-point loss against New Zealand (89-80) on Wednesday, July 6, at the Mall of Asia Arena, which got them eliminated from the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Gilas Pilipinas showed their appreciation to their fans who supported and believed in them.
According to an article published by ABS-CBN News, some of the basketball fans opted to leave early, not bearing to see the national team losing on their home court, but a lot of them remained and watched until the end, cheering and clapping the Gilas Pilipinas players for their hard work.
After the game, it was the players’ turn to thank their fans who they described as the ‘best fans in the world’.
They spent some time greeting and shaking the hands of the waiting fans, as well as signing autographs and taking pictures.
Team captain Gabe Norwood said: “It hurts. But I also want to say ‘thank you’ to the best fans in the world. Hopefully, this continues to bring pride to our country and the game of basketball, and hopefully, we continue to move forward with the Gilas program.”
As for coach Tab Baldwin, he also expressed his gratitude to the fans who never failed to show their support for the team.
“They came out in huge numbers, they came out with their hopes for us and their support for us, and all we can do is say we appreciate that greatly,” he said.
Gilas Pilipinas tried their best to block New Zealand’s offensive plays, especially its key players brothers Tai and Corey Webster , but the power of the Kiwis was just too much for the Philippines to handle.
New Zealand is set to battle France on Thursday, July 7.
The FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament will run from July 5 to 10 and only the winners of each of the groupings will qualify for the Rio Olympic Games.