MANILA, Philippines – Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol sent his congratulations to the Philippine national basketball team on Twitter after Gilas Pilipinas qualified to the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.
Gasol, a member of the Spain national team, congratulated Gilas, Iran and Korea after the three teams earned berth to the world championships.
“Congratulations to Gilas, Iran and Korea for qualifying for the Spain’s world championships next year! See you there!” Gasol tweeted last weekend.
Iran won the 27th FIBA Asia Men’s Basketball Championship last Sunday, with Gilas finishing in second place and South Korea ending up third.
When thanked by the Gilas Pilipinas Twitter account, Gasol replied: “It’s going to be a great championship! Congratulations again for qualifying!”
As hosts, the Spanish team already qualified to the World Cup. Olympic gold medalists United States have also qualified.
Gasol’s teammate with the Lakers, Kobe Bryant, also congratulated the Philippine team during his visit to Manila last Monday and offered some words of advice.
“Just believe in yourselves. They have to tune out the noise and don’t get all caught up in the hoopla and the attention, because if they do, they’ll forget what they can do,” Bryant said. “If they focus internally and go out there next summer ready to win.”
The 2014 FIBA World Cup will be held in six different cities in Spain from August 30 to September 14, with the final round being held in Barcelona and Madrid.