Gilas inspires Azkals for Peace Cup

By Camille B. Naredo,

Posted at Sep 02 2014 04:23 PM | Updated as of Sep 03 2014 01:57 AM

Azkals skipper Rob Gier answers questions during Tuesday's press conference for the Philippine Peace Cup. Photo by Mark Cristino,

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas' brave performances in the 2014 FIBA World Cup have become a source of inspiration for the Philippine Azkals as they seek to retain their crown in the Philippine Peace Cup.

Skipper Rob Gier said he was able to watch part of Gilas' game against Argentina early this morning, which resulted in a heartbreaking 81-85 setback for the Philippines.

"It just kind of inspires us to want to do well as well," Gier said of how Gilas Pilipinas has been performing.

Despite having one of the shortest and oldest teams in the tournament, Gilas nonetheless came close to toppling higher-ranked teams -- twice. They lost in overtime to Croatia in their tournament opener, then just fell short against Argentina earlier Tuesday.

Their lone double-digit loss came against Greece.

Gier said that watching Gilas compete against the best in the world has helped fire up the Azkals.

"They're competing against the best teams in the world, and that's where we want to be," he said. "To have that kind of recognition is what we want."

"That's hugely inspiring to the guys," he added.

Both the Azkals and Gilas will be in action this week. Gilas resumes their FIBA World Cup campaign against Puerto Rico, while the Azkals play Chinese-Taipei in the Peace Cup on Wednesday.