Biyernes, Pebrero 23, 2018

Australia - The Gracious Host

Whenever Gilas Pilipinas plays there will always be a feel of being still at home.  We hardly feel being away from our country.  Our Kababayans never fail to extend support to our team in any way possible.  Be it hosting lunch or dinner for the boys, offering food during practices, and helping the delegation in any logistical aspect are examples of how our fellow Pinoys abroad express love to the team that represents them.  And sometimes things go beyond the court - to the social media to be exact.  

Also these passionate folks of ours can sometimes get into the nerves of the home crowd.  Teasing and trash talking erupts at the stands but we're lucky that it has never escalated to any violent level as of yet.  Down on the court we see the home team would always try to make us feel we're the strangers.  They try to intimidate us, bully the boys among other things that the home squad does - no problem with that it's normal.  Remember the 2015 FIBA Asia Championships finals match between Gilas and Team Dragon in China? Talking about a hostile reception both from the crowd and the opposing team.  And what about the attempt to bully Calvin Abueva by Ligen in 2017 FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon?

Resulta ng larawan para sa Philippines vs china fiba
Photo from Rappler

Resulta ng larawan para sa abueva vs ligen
Photo from Spin.PH

Those were nasty experiences, something I was kind of afraid may happen when we played the Boomers yesterday.  I have always known the Australian squad to play bully basketball, they'd stay on your face, will pressure you, will dunk on you - they play tough, but I witnessed that they don't play rough.  They let their play talk for them.  They do not over impose themselves and at the end of the buzzer, they are a class act in victory.  No trash talking, no unnecessary shoving and pushing (except the incident late in the game between Abueva and Sobey).  Those things make me respect the Boomers.

What's also very impressive is how the home crowd reacts to the game.  Interestingly the Filipino crowd seem to have outnumbered them in the Margaret Court Arena, in Melbourne and has out chanted them as well.  First thing I thought was, the local organizing committee did not manipulate the ticket sales to give advantage to the locals.  Instead has allowed anyone to get a ticket - that's something different.  The folks in the stand from what the camera has shown looked to be very calm and not the type that does not make you feel you are not welcome on their home.  Sometimes even us is guilty of that, let's admit it.

Another thing that's very nice to point out is the Aussie's apparent appreciation of the game between their team and the Philippines.  I captured these manifestation through these tweets;

Even the Australian ambassador joined the party. 

Thanks Team Australia for being a gracious host and appreciating our Team.  We cannot wait to host you here soon!



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