UNITED Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial candidate San Juan City Rep. JV Ejercito Estrada urged Filipinos to rally behind the national team when they see action in the FIBA-Asia Championship starting Aug. 1.
“This is a great opportunity for all of us to be united for a particular goal and that is to motivate our national team to qualify for the world championship,” said Ejercito Estrada. “If our players see that their countrymen are behind them 100 percent, I’m confident that they will be able to achieve their goal.”
The Gilas Pilipinas II to be handled by coach Chot Reyes will play in the FIBA-Asia tournament, which serves as the qualifier for the 2014 World Championship in Spain. The top three teams will represent Asia in the world championship.
The young lawmaker said basketball fans have a chance to personally cheer for the national team as the Philippines will be hosting the FIBA-Asia Championship.
The hosting of the Asian qualifier was recently awarded to the country by the FIBA-Asia Executive Committee. This will be the first time in 40 years that the Philippines will host the sporting event.
“The country’s hosting of the FIBA Asia Championship will surely put us back on the international basketball map. It will also give our athletes more exposure to international competitions,” Ejercito Estrada said.
The young lawmaker also cited San Juan City where the local government has put up a sporting venue dubbed as “The Arena” which hosts major local events such as those organized by the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Ejercito Estrada said the local government of San Juan is willing to offer “The Arena” as second venue for the FIBA-Asia Championship games.
“The local government of San Juan can prepare should the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas choose The Arena as a venue for the FIBA-Asia Championship games,” he said.
The San Juan solon also commended Filipino athletes for their excellent performance in international competitions in recent years.
“Filipino athletes such as the Philippine men’s national football team, the Azkals, and the basketball team Gilas Pilipinas have brought us pride and honor. They fully deserve our support and recognition,” Ejercito Estrada said.
February 22, 2013