JAKARTA — For the past 48 hours, Yeng Guiao and the rest of the Rain or Shine-Pilipinas basketball team faced tremendous challenge of making the most out of the 50-minute session daily.
On Saturday, they got the much-needed reinforcement courtesy of the Filipino basketball community, which served as the “sixth man of the squad.”
“Nahalata niyo ngayon hindi tayo nagmamadali tsaka relaxed yung atmosphere. Hindi katulad nung 50 minutes na practice natin, nagmamadali ka talaga. You can’t get the usual repetitions and the attention to details that you want,” Guiao told FOX Sports Philippines.
“Ngayon, one hour and a half tayo, walang nagpapaalis sa atin sa gym. Kaya laking pasasalamat natin sa mga Pinoy sa Indonesia, yung Philippine community dito, mahilig rin pala sila sa basketball. I think they’re also preparing a lunch or dinner for the whole team and makasama yung Filipino basketball community or Filipino community in general. We’re looking forward to it and sobra yung ibinigay nila sa ating convenience para makapagensayo, Mga Pinoy na nandito sa Indonesia, pero hindi nakakalimot sa mga kapwa nila Pinoy.”
For one-and-a-half hours, the Filipinos ran designed plays against the zone defense, anticipating the Chinese will try to use their size to the hilt on defense and clamp down the shaded lane.
Guiao is hoping they could get similar opportunities like this one in the days to come. The Philippine men’s basketball team will not play until Tuesday’s game against the Chinese at 4 p.m.
“We will be in touch with them kung sakali. Ang hirap maghanap ng basketball court dito, football field madali maghanap. Eto yung sixth man natin dito, yung Filipino community,” added Guiao.
Jonathan Romero, chairman of the Filipino basketball community in Jakarta, was delighted to lend their support to our national team competing in the Asian Games, but was also thrilled to get the opportunity of meeting our national squad. They’re now pooling a bigger audience to come out and cheer on the Filipinos in their upcoming game against the Chinese.
“Yung camaraderie and friendship ng mga Pilipino dito sa Jakarta dito nagsisimula sa basketball. Some are working here 14 years or more. There were also new members coming in working in Indonesia. Lumalaki na yung grupo namin,” Romero said. “We have our WhatsApp group, we put up tarpaulins and we have this shirts printed. Expect big numbers to come in on Tuesday.”
Atty. Art Almajeda, now based in Jakarta, along with his family, was also happy to get the opportunity meeting our national team.
“Ang Pinoy dito very strong dahil sa basketball. Malaking boost sa amin na dumating yung national team dito na na-meet and greet namin sila. I’m sure may lasting effect ito sa mga Pilipino na nandito sa Jakarta,” added Almajeda.
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