MANILA, Philippines – The Gilas Pilipinas Cadets had a disappointing campaign in the 2018 FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup, winning just once in their six assignments and failing to advance to the next phase of the tournament.
The young squad, backed by the Chooks-to-Go, suffered its fifth loss on Tuesday evening when they fell to National University, 81-86.
Before that, the Cadets dropped three straight games, losing to Ateneo de Manila University, 69-75; De La Salle University, 72-91; and San Beda University, 70-91. They earned a breakthrough win over University of Perpetual Help, 72-63, but followed that up with a collapse against University of the Philippines, as they blew a lead and lost, 72-78.
Regardless of the results of their campaign in FilOil, however, Chooks-to-Go's support for the young team remains unwavering.
Indeed, Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascariñas believes that this journey is part of the process for the Cadets, a team composed of players from the 23 for 23 pool.
"Masakit para sa amin to see our young players. After the games, down sila at very disappointed," said Mascariñas. "But we always make them realize na every Gilas team starts off this way before learning how to bounce back from adversity."
He explained that at the end of the day, winning the FilOil tournament was a secondary goal for the Gilas Cadets.
"We joined the preseason tournament not because we want to rack up the wins. Any brand wants a winner but the main purpose of entering this tournament is that we want to give the Cadets an exercise to build brotherhood and for us to see the next step needed for them to grow as a team," said Mascariñas.
With this, Mascariñas and his company will continue to support the development of the Cadets as some of the players will be called up for the upcoming 2018 Asian Games.
"Ano gagawin natin? Iwanan sila because of their losses in the Preseason Cup? That’s not going to happen. Walang iwanan," Mascariñas said. "The kids need us now more than ever."
The Gilas Cadets, led by Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero, will wrap up their FilOil schedule against University of the East, Emilio Aguinaldo College, and Mapua University.
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