April 14, 2024

Filipino fans make Gilas' FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers opener vs Hong Kong feel like home game

Filipino fans make Gilas
Gilas Pilipinas fans were definitely felt and heard in Hong Kong. | Photo (c) FIBA

Gilas Pilipinas’ sixth man delivered as usual.

 Filipino fans showed up at the Tsuen Wan Sports Centre on Thursday to support Gilas in the first window of the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers against home team Hong Kong.

While the overwhelming support is no longer news to every Filipino basketball team visiting other countries, Gilas coach Tim Cone couldn’t help but give give his love to the supporters for helping fire up the players in the 94-64 win to open the Qualifiers in a dominant fashion.

“We always travel very well because we always have a crowd. That’s the big advantage we have over other teams,” he said.

“No matter where we play, there’s gonna be the crowd behind us cheering. We truly appreciate them."

Some couldn't help but have a little fun, bringing a card of Dwight Ramos bearing the text, "I love you, Papa Dwight." They were male, by the way. But we totally get it.

[ALSO READ: POGI! | Scottie Thompson "in love" with Dwight Ramos]

 

Fans especially helped when the Filipino dribblers were trying to break free from the home team in the second half following a nip-and-tuck first two quarters.

After the break, Gilas got its bearing going and uncorked a 30-9 third quarter assault that gave the team a comfortable cushion they never squandered.

“We came out in the second half made a couple of nice plays and they really got cheering hard, and it kinda lifted our spirits and we got our momentum,” said Cone.

[RELATED STORY: Tim Cone surprised with Hong Kong's first half performance FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers]

In one sequence, Kevin Quiambao delivered the exclamation, much to the delight of Kai Sotto and the Filipino fans. With less than two minutes left, the Pinoys chanted, "Uwian na! Uwian na!"

Quiambao, who finished with 15 points, also gave the OFWs a big shot out after the match that looked more like a home game for the Philippines.

“I super appreciate [them going] out here to support me and the whole team. Good thing we got the win for the OFWs who work here,” said Quiambao.

Gilas will get such a boost again when it hosts Chinese Taipei back home on Sunday. Gametime is set at 7:30pm at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

Fans can watch it live on One Sports, One Sports+, RPTV, and the Pilipinas Live app.