2013-2014 Gilas kicks off World Cup countdown ‘One Year to Go’

2013-14 Gilas, 2018 Miss Universe Catriona Gray as local ambassadors for next year’s FIBA World Cup

LA Tenorio and his “puso” brothers from the 2013-14 Gilas Pilipinas batch gratefully embraced their new roles as “local ambassadors” for next year’s FIBA World Cup extravaganza on Philippine soil.

The fabled Gilas batch, along with 2018 Miss Universe Catriona Gray, were chosen as the country’s “embodiments of FIBA’s values and principles upholding responsible, progressive and team-work centered practices inside and outside the court” in the leadup to the hosting.

“Before when we were playing back in 2014 in the World Cup, I’m sure you guys were cheering for us. Now it’s our turn to give back. It’s time for us to share our experiences and be here to support our team,” Mr. Tenorio said during yesterday’s media conference kicking off the “One Year to Go” countdown for the World Cup.

For Larry Fonacier, this is a good chance to “connect and share the love of basketball with everyone.”

The lovely Ms. Gray is similarly excited to take part in the events of the Aug. 25 to Sept. 10, 2023 global showpiece.

“I would love to be cheering for our culture and values and what better way to do that than to warmly welcome people to display our culture proudly in all aspects and show them that there are no better fans than here in the Philippines,” she said.

Present during the unveiling of the ambassadors were Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio, vice president Ricky Vargas and executive director Sonny Barrios and World Cup 2023 executive director David Crocker.

“With one year to go, Filipinos can look forward to a series of celebrations, events and games that the SBP has set to ensure that the World Cup 2023 will be the highlight of a sports year that people will long remember,” said Mr. Panlilio,

Among the next activities are the Tissot Countdown Launch, a drone and fireworks display show and a game by Gilas Pilipinas featuring Jordan Clarkson at the MOA Arena. — Olmin Leyba