FIBA: 36ers coach wants to erase bad Gilas memories in Australia
Paul Lintag on Aug 21, 2019 03:07 PM
“We wanted to come back here and play and show people that was just one incident and we can come back here and play and we’ll be okay.” — 36ers coach Joey Wright. (Photo via Adelaide 36ers on Twitter, @Adelaide36ers)
The upcoming pair of games between Gilas Pilipinas and the NBL’s Adelaide 36ers is the first basketball activity for the Philippines and Australis since the infamous brawl in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers last year.
Time heals all wounds and the Gilas-36ers games is the first step in restoring basketball goodwill between the two countries.
That’s what Gilas thinks and Adelaide head coach Joey Wright, who once played import in the PBA for Presto, shares the same sentiments.
“One thing I wanted to tell our fans, actually, I did a video speech about it. Filipinos have been playing basketball here for 40 years. They’ve been playing great basketball, high passionate basketball,” Wright said.
“And I didn’t want one incident to be held in their head. So we wanted to come back here and play and show people that was just one incident [Gilas brawl] and we can come back here and play and we’ll be okay,” he added.
Wright said that the Gilas-Boomers brawl left a bad image in the minds of Australian fans when it comes to Filipino basketball.
With the 36ers coming over to help Gilas out in preparation for the FIBA World Cup, he’s hoping that that bad image will be erased.
“With some of the fans in Australia think that one incident is who the Filipino basketball is. And it’s not,” Wright said.
‘So we wanted to come over here and show them that we can play a game here and we’ll be treated well – we have been treated exceptionally – and nothing like that will happen. It’s just one incident and to let it go,” he added.
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