Gilas cadet Troy Rike continues to extend helping hand to Australia
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 04, 2018 06:48 PM
Troy Rike hopes to be at the forefront of the mending of fences between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia
Troy Rike will do nothing but make good use of the token of appreciation he has received from the main backer of Gilas Pilipinas.
Absent during the national team's private dinner last Tuesday, Rike had a private meeting with Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascarinas on Wednesday afternoon.
What the Filipino-American Gilas cadet didn't know was that there there was an incentive waiting for him.
Last Monday, during the brawl that happened between players of Gilas and Australia, Boomer Chris Goulding had fallen on the floor.
Right then and there, Rike had the presence of mind to cover Goulding from the fans who were about to mob him.
The act drew praise from Mascariñas. "I admire Troy Rike. Rike saved our country last night. Kung hindi sa action ni Troy Rike, basag yung ulo nung nakahiga na yun. By protecting this person, nakita niya yung repercussion[s]." he said.
With this, Gilas' main backer gave Rike a check of PhP 100,000 as a token of appreciation.
For his part, Rike intends to begin mending fences with Australians using his newfound reward.
"Obviously, I'm new to Gilas so when I found out Chooks-to-Go was nice enough to give Gilas some incentives to the players, I was very happy," he said.
He then continued, "And I made the decision to take some of that money and do something good with it. I'm planning to split it and give 50,000 to a Filipino charity and 50,000 to an Australian charity as well."
The institutions he chose to give the money to were the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Australia and World Vision Philippines.
After finding out his intentions, Mascariñas matched Rike’s donations by giving another PhP 100,000 each to the charities.
For that, the 22-year-old is nothing but grateful. "Going forward, hopefully it will do some good and other people will do the same because that is what basketball is all about -- bringing people together and giving people something to cheer for. So I hope, this is a good first step to show what we are all about as a country and as a team."
Rike hopes that this will be a good step towards moving on from one of the darkest moments in Philippine basketball history. "Players and my teammates express their regret for their actions and some Australian players have expressed their regret as well," Rike said.
He then continued, "Obviously, both of us wish what happened would not have had happened because that is not what either country is about. We can't take that back and the only thing we could do is move forward and do some good with that."