The Philippines Basketball national team or also known as Gilas Pilipinas, the players have shared their emotions on social media as they shown their thankfulness as well as relief for getting away the incident happened in Istanbul, Turkey. Coaches, players and staff of the team landed home safely in Manila last Tuesday evening, just hours before the three suicide bombers assaulted Istanbul’s most busiest airport.
Gilas Pilipinas members showed up last Tuesday evening at the NAIA Terminal 1 at around 7 in the evening. The 14-man Gilas squad organised a training camp abroad in the preparation of the long awaited FIBA Olympic Qualifiers which is to be hosted by the Philippines in a few days.
Several hours have passed when the Gilas team started on their trip going home, the attackers blew themselves up in Istanbul’s primary international airport, Ataturk, killing 36 people and leave 150 others injured. Based on the Filipino community in Turkey no Filipino were recorded hurt in the said incident.
Butch Antonio, Gilas’ Team Manager utilized Twitter and published the following message: “Thank you Lord for our safe passage out of Istanbul,” he tweeted. Antonio added further “I’m saddened by what just happened at the Istanbul airport.”
Thank you lord for our (Gilas) safe passage out of Istanbul. I'm saddened by what just happened at the Istanbul airport.
— Butch Antonio (@BAAntonio) June 28, 2016
Gilas Pilipinas Head Coach, Tab Baldwin likewise published his tweet that Turkey was his residence for almost three years. Baldwin was so saddened and also worried for his friends residing in Turkey. He likewise thanked the Lord for the safety of the Gilas as well as the Turkish national teams who came only recently in Manila.
Turkey was my home 4 nearly 3 years. So saddened & worried for friends there. Thank the Lord our Gilas and Turk teams are safe. #Prayers
— Tab Baldwin (@iHob1111) June 29, 2016
Naturalized Filipino who play at the Center position, Andray Blatche mentioned in an Instagram post: “Me and my teammates was jus there wow thank you God for watching over us I’m really lost for words I woke up to a lot of texts from friends checking on me I’m ok thanx love yal”
Well-known born-again christian as well as one of the Gilas Pilipinas pillars for a long time, Marc Pingris also shown his feeling on Instagram “Grabe, dito lang kami kanina pauwi ng Manila, wala pang five hours bago nangyari ito,” he said. “Lord, salamat sa pag gabay mo sa amin ng Team Gilas.”