It was such an honor to witness history last night with the thousands of die hard Gilas fans in MOA. I’ve said it a thousand times before but these MEN have made me so proud to be Pinoy!!!! The last few seconds of the game was all a blur–we were jumping, screaming, crying, hugging—I can’t seem to remember because it was just pure euphoria at the arena. It was my Birthday, Christmas and New Year all together!
When the players rushed out of the court, I saw Larry Fonacier and he smiled at me and that’s when I just broke down. I couldn’t hold it together—hagulgol level lang talaga. I used to cheer for this guy when we were just “kids” and now he’s a true gentleman of the sport. For the Lord to lift him up and give him this moment to shine all for God’s glory, wow, I was lost for words. Larry was a classmate of mine, a hardworking and diligent student in the classroom—and just as hardworking as a Blue Eagle. This entire week, he made history and represented our country to the greatest of his abilities, along with LA Tenorio another proud Eagle! Here’s a screenshot grabbed from Lora Fonacier’s FB—this is what Larry texted her last night! 🙂 🙂
I saw their wives, Lora and Chesca, patiently waiting by the sidelines after the game and it just dawned on me that we should be celebrating the players’ spouses and families as well. These women have took it upon themselves to be the strong leaders of their households every time their husbands have to train for Gilas. Just thinking of the sacrifices they have made in support of their husbands, our soldiers on court, it just makes me want to hug each and everyone of them!
At the Press Con after the game, Coach Chot, Marc and Ranidel were all in tears. It took them a while to find their composure. It was so beautiful to witness this as a fan. To see these strong giants falling to their knees and just thanking God and their countrymen..priceless talaga! To Marcus who soldiered on through the pain, saludo kami sa ‘yo! You are now PINOY whether you like it or not. To Jimmy, what an excellent captain you are—serving others first, that’s the mark of a true leader. To Gary, You are such an inspiration! Your vulnerability and humility inspired us 🙂 To Japeth, Castro, Chan, June Mar—you made us believe in something bigger than all of us last night.
I woke up with a big smile on my face. It just hit me AGAIN. It wasn’t just a good dream, it actually happened. GILAS will be going to SPAIN. We will be competing on the WORLD STAGE. You don’t have to be a basketball fan to get it, you just have to be a true blue Pinoy to believe. 🙂 If you want to relive yesterday’s game, here are the highlights. My favorite part: when the whole team huddled at the end and Gabe Norwood was bold enough to pray and honor God! Wow. What a moment in basketball history. How humbling to watch!!!! Goosebumps!
And to my husband Patrick who believed in GILAS long before they became a buzz worthy team, who prayed for them and believed in them from DAY ONE—I’m just so happy I was able to witness history seated right next to you 🙂
My husband is not one to brag, so I will share this story on his behalf. Last Friday, when everyone was enjoying their non-working holiday, he stayed glued to his editor’s chair working on a special project. He reviewed clip after clip, hours of tedious work. I found out that he made a personalized inspirational video just for the Gilas team. He has been documenting the Gilas team for months now so he had thousands of video clips of the team during their practices, trainings here and abroad, games, etc. He made it just because he was a believer, in fact he didn’t even bother to put his name on it.
When we were eating our second round of dinner after the game (nagutom kami sa kakasigaw namin!), we received a text to confirm that the team was able to watch the video just before the game. And the smile on my husband’s face was priceless! Pat read the text out loud and smiled at me: “They watched it, babe. They watched it.” And we just had our little celebration for this mini moment as we devoured our burritos. Nobody knows that he made this short video (well until now, hehehe!) for the team to watch—and if you think about it, it was just a very small contribution really. I can’t share it here because it’s for internal use only. It was just two minutes anyway, so it’s not really a BIG deal and to even think that it made an impact on the players is a bit ambitious. But what if diba?!?! Libre lang mangarap. Ang mahalaga para sa min, we were able to honor our basketball heroes and they made history yesterday and we were part of it!!! 🙂