SBP chair Angara ‘stands by Gilas’, supports sanctions

MANILA — Senator Sonny Angara expressed full support to Gilas Pilipinas following the brawl that took place in its match against Australia at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on Monday night.

“It was an unfortunate event but I stand by the Gilas team on this,” Angara, the current Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) chairman, said in a statement Tuesday.

He added, “One may criticize how the game ended, but the true test of a fan is to stick with his team win or lose, through thick and thin.”

He, however, said that sanctions must be meted out and apologies extended as true sportsmen would.

“Non-players who joined the melee should be punished, and above all, lessons learned so that this should not happen again,” he said.

He added the incident should not be construed that Filipinos are rude to visitors.

“We would like to reassure the world that it’s an isolated event and Filipinos remain the most hospitable race, in and out of the court, as millions of visitors who visit us annually would attest,” Angara continued.

“Let us move on from this incident and focus on the national project of hosting the best FIBA World Cup ever, in 2023,” he said.