Malacañan Palace Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the president’s remarks that Gilas Pilipinas will surely lose its game against Italy should challenge the team, Wednesday.
The country’s national men’s basketball team is set to start its FIBA World Cup journey with its first game against Italy in Foshan province in China.
It was recalled that at the beginning of August, President Rodrigo Duterte said that Gilas Pilipinas does not have a chance of winning against the much taller Italians.
However, Panelo defended Duterte’s negative remarks saying “The statement of the President … should be a challenge to you and should inspire you to make him wrong. And he will be very happy [if he is proven wrong].”
Panelo added that Duterte, who is now in China for a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping will actually fly to Foshan to watch Gilas Pilipinas’ match against Italy on Saturday.
Panelo further said, “They should be inspired especially because the President will be there. I think the very purpose of the President in going there is to inspire them.”
Gilas Pilipinas Lineup 2019 Released
Gilas Pilipinas lineup 2019 released to include powerful rookies Bolick and Perez in the final magic 12. The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) made the announcement on August 25.
Players who already experienced joining FIBA World Cup in 2014 in Spain are still included in the list namely Gabe Norwood, June Mar Fajardo, Andray Blatche, Japeth Aguilar, and Paul Lee.
Aside from rookies Robert Bolick and CJ Perez, among the first-timers in FIBA are Raymond Almazan, Mark Barroca, Troy Rosario, Roger Pogoy, and Kiefer Ravena who just returned after 18 months of suspension.