ASIAN GAMES: Diaz to cheer for Philippines when it takes on South Korea
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 26, 2018 08:11 PM
Hidilyn Diaz of the Philippines smiles as she competes at the women's 53 kg weightlifting during the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)
JAKARTA — Weightlifting gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz will be cheering her throat hoarse when the Filipino dribblers take on the Koreans in a knockout quarterfinal match in the 18th Asian Games men’s basketball competitions on Monday.
Diaz has become the top cheerer for Filipino athletes and stressed she won’t miss the men’s basketball game to rally behind Jordan Clarkson and company.
"Jordan is also quiet just like me, very simple, but a very nice person," said Diaz, who shared a few laughs with the 6-foot-5 National Basketball Association player when they asked each other about their age—Clarkson and Diaz are both 26.
And that’s probably the reason why the gold medal winner is eager to watch the dribblers’ make-or-break match against the dangerous Koreans.
"I asked him how he feels playing for the national team, and he said it's an honor and that he's proud to represent the Philippines," Diaz said.
Since winning the country’s first gold medal—the country has won two more gold medals thanks to Yuki Saso and her teammates in women’s golf–Diaz has become the top cheerleader of the delegation.
"I try to encourage them to keep pushing, to keep fighting for flag and country," she said. "For me, if I was able to do it, win the gold, I'm confident our other athletes can also do it and I'm supporting them all out. I want to inspire them.”
Diaz, a silver medalist in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, won the gold in women's -53 kgs of weightlifting last Tuesday.
To the surprise of the Rain or Shine (ROS)-led team, Diaz, dropped by the team’s practice last Saturday afternoon.
Aside from a brief conversation with Clarkson, Diaz also had a lively talk with coach Yeng Guiao, according to ROS official Edison Oribiana.