This year, the 61-year drought ended when Gilas Pilipinas secured the gold medal against Jordan at the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou, China with a score of 70-60.
The country is hailed again as the "King of Asian Basketball." Recently, Gilas Pilipinas and Yamaha Motor Philippines held a thanksgiving lunch as a celebration of victory and partnership.
Present at the thanksgiving lunch were Yamaha Motor Philippines executives and employees, friends, Gilas Pilipinas players Calvin Oftana, CJ Perez, and Chris Newsome together with their assistant coach Richard del Rosario. Newsome even brought his gold medal to the event and everyone was thrilled to get a glimpse of the coveted prize. As for the players, they still could not believe that they are now hailed as heroes.
"It is such an honor just to wear the jersey that represents all the people. Millions of people would love to be where we are at and we just love to represent our country and we cannot take that opportunity for granted," Newsome expressed
"Sobrang saya, it is an honor na mabigyan ng karangalan ang Pilipinas after 61 years finally nakuha natin 'yung gold. Lahat kami hindi namin ine-expect na mapapanalo namin 'yun, kasi we only had a short time para mag-practice and to build the team together. We are grateful na nakapaglaro kami doon. Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat," Perez said.
(Very happy, it is an honor that the Philippnes was given recognition after 61 years, we finally got the gold [medal]. All of us did not expect that we are going to win it, because we only had a short time to practice and build the team together. We are grateful that we were able to play there. Thank you very much to everyone.)
Oftana also expressed his gratitude to Filipino fans, "As Filipinos, we so love basketball and kahit saang lugar, kahit China also loves basketball, pero as a Filipino we are so proud. We would like to extend our gratitude to all the staff and coaches, at sa buong team, talagang kinayod namin ito para makuha ang gold. Para sa atin ito, Laban Pilipinas!"
(As Filipinos, we so love basketball; everywhere, even China also loves basketball, but as a Filipino we are so proud. We would like to extend our gratitutde to all the staff and coaches, and to the entire team; we really worked hard for this, so we could get the gold. This is for us, Fight Philippines!")
Yamaha Motor Philippines and Gilas Pilipinas' partnership has been made possible by the Yamaha Mio Gear "Play Your Tough" Campaign, which has been supporting the basketball team since the FIBA World Cup.
"We are very proud to be a part of this journey which was built with lots of exciting moments and challenging obstacles. From the World Cup qualifiers to the games here in Manila all the way to the Asian Games, they truly showed they are the toughest. We, as a brand, have truly been ingrained in Filipino culture and we know how important this game is to everyone in the country," said Yamaha Motor Philippines President Hiroshi Koike in his speech
Gilas Pilipinas is grateful for Yamaha Motor Philippines' trust and support. As Coach del Rosario said, "Yamaha has been sponsoring and supporting Gilas Pilipinas when times were tough and now it is only fitting that we celebrate what Gilas Pilipinas now that the times are great. We thank you for all your support and all your prayers. We all felt that when we were in China. The road was not easy, but no we were able to give the country so much joy."
The Play Your Tough campaign has been revving up the nation, hosting sports events such as 3-on-3 basketball games, e-sports showdowns, and epic obstacle courses. These showcase incredible endurance, sportsmanship, and true grit - just like the Yamaha Mio Gear.
"Mio Gear is all about helping Filipinos to bring out their toughness in their everyday battle in life. That is the reason why we partnered with Gilas Pilipinas because they showed their hardship, and exerted their potential, every time they played on the hard court. With Yamaha we are behind you.” ended Yamaha Motor Philippines Section Manager Toni Acuesta.
To know more about Yamaha Mio Gear visit their website.
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