Press Release
October 9, 2023

Bong Go lauds Gilas Pilipinas for historic gold medal victory at the 19th Asian Games

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Sports and a passionate advocate of Philippine sports development, has extended his heartfelt congratulations to Gilas Pilipinas for their gold medal win at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

The senator expressed immense pride and joy over the team's historic achievement, calling it a "triumph for the entire nation."

"Masarap talaga ang pakiramdam bilang isang Pilipino dahil muling nagwagi ang pambato natin sa basketball na Gilas Pilipinas," he shared.

"This is not just a victory for Gilas Pilipinas; it's a triumph for the entire nation. Our athletes have shown the world the kind of talent and spirit Filipinos possess," Go added.

The victory is historic, as it is the first time in over six decades--since 1962--that the Philippines has won a gold medal in men's basketball at the Asian Games. The team triumphed over Jordan, finishing the game with a 70-60 score.

Justin Brownlee spearheaded the team's effort with a stellar performance, scoring 20 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and dishing out five assists. Ange Kouame also made a significant impact, adding 14 points and securing 11 rebounds.

Earlier last week, the senator personally traveled to China to show his full support for the Philippine delegation. He also attended live competitions, including the recent match between Gilas Pilipinas and Iran at Zijingang Gymnasium, Zhejiang University on October 3.

"This is a testament to Filipino athleticism and sportsmanship. It's a well-deserved achievement that elevates our standing in the global sports arena," Go said.

The basketball gold adds to the Philippines' growing tally at the Asian Games, which includes golds from pole vaulter EJ Obiena and jiu-jitsu stars Meggie Ochoa and Annie Ramirez so far.

"Our athletes are doing an exceptional job, and they deserve all the support and recognition," Go emphasized.

As of 4:00 PM on October 7, the country is ranked 21st in the overall medal tally, with four gold, one silver, and nine bronze medals.

Arnel Mandal earned a silver medal in Wushu for Men's 56kg, narrowly losing to Iran's Erfan Ahangarian.

The country also earned nine bronze medalists across various sports. These include Patrick King Perez in Taekwondo, Jones Llabres Inso and Gideon Fred Padua in Wushu, Clemente Tabugara Jr. also in Wushu, Alex Eala in Women's Singles Tennis, Francis Casey Alcantara & Alex Eala in Mixed Doubles Tennis, Patrick Coo in Cycling BMX Racing, Team Philippines in Sepak takraw, and Elreen Ann Ando in Weightlifting.

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. also congratulated the team.

"I know every Filipino is proud to be called one today. Congratulations, Gilas Pilipinas, on this incredible feat!" Marcos said in a tweet.

As Chair of the Senate Sports Committee, Go then assured that the Senate is fully committed to supporting Filipino athletes and honoring them for their achievements.

"We will continue to invest in our athletes, providing them with the resources and training they need to excel on the world stage," he affirmed.

As vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, Go has also advocated for increased funding for sports programs. He revealed that last year's proposed budget for the Philippine Sports Commission was approximately P200 million. However, he pushed for an additional P1 billion, thereby significantly enhancing the financial support for athletes in international competitions.

"Dahil dito, nakapagbigay tayo ng pinansyal na suporta para sa mga atletang lumahok sa mga international competitions," he added.

This move paved the way for the provision of financial support for athletes participating in international competitions, including the recent 2023 Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia and the ongoing Asian Games in China.

Go also emphasized the importance of grassroots sports development, saying, "Tinututukan din natin ang grassroots sports development upang mahubog ang mga kabataan nasaan man sila sa bansa na nagnanais na sumabak sa mga pambansa at pandaigdigang palaro."

In line with this, he highlighted his role as author and co-sponsor of Republic Act 11470, which established the National Academy of Sports in New Clark City, Tarlac. "Ang NAS ay nagbibigay ng de-kalidad na edukasyon at sports training sa mga batang may potensyal na maging world-class athletes," he added.

Additionally, Go filed Senate bill No. (SBN) 423, or the Philippine National Games (PNG) Act, to institutionalize a national platform for athletes, especially the youth, to showcase their talents if enacted into law.

As the Asian Games continue, Go looks forward to more victories and memorable performances from Filipino athletes.

"Let this victory serve as an inspiration to all. Mabuhay ang Gilas Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!"

News Latest News Feed