Aquino receives Smart Gilas Pilipinas in Malacanang

August 31, 2012 12:57 am 

MANILA, Aug. 30 — President Benigno S. Aquino III received the members of the Smart Gilas Pilipinas national basketball team in a courtesy call in Malacanang on Thursday.

Smart Gilas team presented the President a jersey and a basketball with signatures of the players and in return the Chief Executive gave each of the Smart Gilas members a token.

The national basketball team posted a historic win over taller American squad on Sunday to bag its first William Jones Cup title in 14 years, 76-75, in Taipei, Taiwan.

The country first won the Jones Cup by the Centennial Team in 1996 led by Philippine Basketball Association legends Alvin Patrimonio and Allan Caidic.

In 2011, the Philippines placed third in the Jones Cup with a 6-3 record with the first incarnation of the Smart Gilas team, comprised of amateur players and PBA members.

Smart Gilas team players include LA Tenorio, Jay-R Reyes, Ranidel de Ocampo, Sonny Thoss, Gabe Norwood, Sol Mercado, Mac Baracael, Marcus Douthit, Larry Fonacier, Garvo Lanete, Enrico Villanueva, Matt Ganuelas, Jeff Chan, and Gary David.

Smart Gilas team officials who met the President include Smart Communications chief wireless adviser Orlando Vea, Smart Sports’ Patrick Gregorio, Head coach Chot Reyes, team manager Butch Antonio, assistant coaches Jong Uichico, Ryan Gregorio and Josh Reyes. Physical therapist Dexter Aseron and liaison officer Yvette Ruiz, and utility officer Bong Tulabot were also present.

Smart Gilas Pilipinas is a developmental Philippine National Basketball team sponsored by Smart Communications and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).

The R. William Jones Cup, or the Jones Cup, is an international basketball tournament held annually since 1977 in Taipei, Taiwan. William Jones founded the tournament with participants coming mainly from the Asian and North American regions.

The Jones Cup also invites clubs, collegiate teams, and national teams around the world. (PNA)

FPV/PCOO/SSC

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