Gilas Pilipinas has scored a victory after gaining another supporter in its quest to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games. Chooks-to-Go is joining businessman Manny V. Pangilinan (MVP) and Smart Communications in uniting the entire nation in a collective hope for the national basketball team to finally make it to the cut.
The roasted chicken chain operator made its support formal through hosting a momentous event dubbed as #ManokNgBayan, which gathered Gilas Pilipinas and its supporters in the Rizal Ballroom of Makati Shangri-La on December 5, 2016.
“It is our greatest honor and pride to join MVP and Smart Communications in supporting the quest of Gilas Pilipinas to play in the 2020 Olympics,” said Ronald Mascariñas, president of Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc., the firm operating Chooks-to-Go.
For the country’s honor
“We cement and proclaim our commitment to the national basketball team. More importantly, this is an opportunity for us to help the country to rise in honor and help the man who single-handedly supported the national team from its lowest point when it was suspended by FIBA (The International Basketball Federation) to its long arduous journey of trying to qualify for the Olympics,” he added.
Mascariñas also reiterated the company’s joy to join people who truly give hope, unity, and honor to the country. “The impact of Gilas Pilipinas to Filipinos transcends basketball. They give our country inspiration that we can be competitive in the world. Kung kaya natin manalo sa basketball, kaya din natin magtagumpay sa ibang larangan (If we can win in basketball, we can also be victorious in other fields.),” he remarked.
In his speech during the event, Pangilinan (MVP) explained his passion in supporting Gilas Pilipinas. “Why support basketball? Filipinos love basketball. Paano natin tatalikuran ang sports na hilig ng mga Filipino? (How can I turn my back from this most loved sport?) No matter what, we’ll be there because this is the sports that our countrymen love.”
He also gave a rundown of what to expect from Gilas Pilipinas until 2020. According to Pangilinan, the national team’s first event for 2017 will be a tournament to be held in March, which will also serve as part of preparations for the FIBA Asian Championship.
From August to September, the team will focus on the World Cup to be held in China. Gilas Pilipinas started joining this tournament in 2014.
Home-and-away series of games will begin in November 2017 to last until February 2019. During the period, Gilas will be facing various teams from around the world as it continues to prepare itself for a possible Olympics qualification.
#ManokNgBayan also marked the return of basketball trainor Chot Reyes as Head Coach of Gilas Pilipinas. Reyes was at the helm when the team exhibited strong performance during the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships. He is now President of TV5, which is part of MVP Group of Companies.