Gilas Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao is glad with the reception he and the national team received on Friday night. The national team held their tune-up game versus Lebanon at the Epsilon Chi Center inside the UP campus in Diliman, Quezon City.
For Guiao, Friday was something of a homecoming for him, since he himself is a product of UP. He’s also a member of the Epsilon Chi fraternity.
Gilas lost, 68-74, but the crowd inside the newly-built facility had themselves a nice treat, as they witnessed the gallant fightback of the Nationals after going down by as many as 18 points early in the third chapter.
“We just wanted to favor the UP community with a new game here. This is a new gym. It’s part of our reaching out to the different sectors of the basketball fans. Here of course we have the students no,” Guiao said.
“Also, I played for this school and this gym is a legacy project of our fraternity so we wanted to just give some help and promote the facility. Maganda naman yung reception.”
With this kind of reception, Guiao and Gilas are now looking to hold other tune-ups in other campuses – or simply places other than the Meralco Gym in Pasig City, the national team’s home for so many years now.
“Yes,” he said. “Actually the reception is really good. Kung sa Meralco lang tayo ng Meralco, hindi tayo nakakabigay ng opportunity sa ibang fans, eh sayang naman. So now we have a different set of people watching the games.
“Kapag nasa Meralco tayo, parang yung audience dun yun at yun din. Nakakabuti naman ito sa fans,” Guiao added.
“Gilas On Tour, parang PBA On Tour din.”
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