Even the protagonists preparing of the PBA Governors’ Cup best-of-seven finals series took time to support the SMART-Gilas Pilipinas against the mighty Iran squad in the opening campaign of the William Jones Cup tournament.
And just like any other fan, Alex Cabagnot, Denok Miranda, rookie Rey Guevarra of Petron Blaze, and Jimmy Alapag and coach Chot Reyes of Talk ‘N Text turned into well-wishers of the Philippine squad.
“Iran about to give up… put it on them, Gilas,” Cabagnot wrote on his Twitter account at the height of the Filipinos’ rampage against the Iranians.
“Congrats SMART-Gilas. Nice game Dondon Hontiveros, Mark Barroca and Mac Baracael,” wrote Miranda.
“Congratulations Gilas! Keep it up, God Bless!” wrote Guevarra, who was a member of the national team before joining the PBA last year.
Alapag, the team captain of the Tropang Texters, got his mind off from his team’s quest for a rare Grand Slam for at least two hours on Saturday.
“Getting ready to watch SMART-Gilas vs Iran,” posted Alapag on Twitter. Alapag, along with two other Talk ‘N Text players, Kelly Williams and Ranidel de Ocampo, are scheduled to join SMART-Gilas after the PBA season/
Reyes, who coached the national team in 2007, shared his thoughts on the impressive win over Iran.
“This was a statement win by Team Philippines. More than anything, I think it proved we can beat Haddadi and the confidence gained here will go a long way,” said Reyes in a text message to InterAKTV.
Another former national team coach, Ginebra’s Jong Uichico, was amazed by the SMART-Gilas feat.
“After watching SMART-Gilas’ win against Iran, I think the Filipinos have gained the respect of other countries,” said Uichico.
Tim Cone, who helmed the national team in 1998, was likewise impressed.
“It’s a big one,” he wrote in a text message. “The players now can believe that they can handle Iran. If they can win the Jones Cup, that would be a huge step for them.”
Cone’s Philippine Centennial Team was the last Filipino squad to win the Jones Cup tournament.
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