Kris Aquino defends Gilas over FIBA brawl

MANILA, Philippines – Kris Aquino took to Instagram to defend the players of Gilas Pilipinas, who are under fire for getting into a brawl with the Australian basketball team during a July 2 match in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Sharing an Instagram video including a clip of the brawl and quotes from the team's coaches and other people, Kris wrote: "I read some of the critical comments, and I felt compelled to make a stand."

There was a time this quote gave me the strength to stay strong despite the negativity. “Do not judge. You do not know the storm I have asked her to walk through.” It was a more than 3 hour roadtrip to get to my Bataan location for later’s morning shoot- i saw that the GILAS brawl against was all over the news. I read some of the critical comments, and i felt compelled to make a stand... i don’t claim to be close to them, but @coachot has been kind to me, i’ve seen Coach Jong at the Meralco Chapel, but i’ve never met @tbvrome07... But we did watch what transpired over & over again, even in slow-mo... The team is suffering enough, and they have given so much effort for our country. Hindi ba natin sila pwedeng damayan at suportahan ngayon na kailangan nilang maramdaman na ang mga Pinoy hindi nang-iiwan ng kapwa Pinoy? Wag naman sanang mabura ng ilang minuto sa isang gabi ang lahat ng magagandang alaala nung mga panahon na dahil sa #GILAS naging taas noo tayo. (P.S. kung pipili lang ako ng coach & teammates sa kahit na anong mabigat na trabaho, sa nakita kong #unity & #bayanihan nila- sila ang pagdarasal kong maging kakampi.” A post shared by kris aquino (@krisaquino) on Jul 3, 2018 at 10:43am PDT

"The team is suffering enough, and they have given so much effort for our country," Kris wrote.

"Hindi ba natin sila puwedeng damayan at suportahan ngayon na kailangan nilang maramdaman na ang mga Pinoy hindi nang-iiwan ng kapwa Pinoy? 'Wag naman sanang mabura ng ilang minuto sa isang gabi ang lahat ng magagandang alaala nung mga panahon na dahil sa Gilas naging taas noo tayo," she added.

(Can't we sympathize with them and support them now that they need to feel that Filipinos don't abandon fellow Filipinos? Hopefully a few minutes in one night does not erase all the beautiful memories of the times when Gilas made us proud.)

As a postscript, she added, "Kung pipili lang ako ng coach and teammates sa kahit na anong mabigat na trabaho, sa nakita kong unity and bayanihan nila – sila ang pagdarasal kong maging kakampi."

(If I had to choose a coach and teammates for any difficult job, with their unity and teamwork, I would pray for them to be on my team.)

Kris' defense of Gilas counters the opinion of celebrities like Gary Valenciano, Sam Gogna, and director Joey Javier Reyes, who expressed their disappointment over the players' behavior on social media. Other celebrities like Bianca Gonzalez and KC Montero didn't outright criticize Gilas, but voiced their support for the players who were not involved in the match. (READ: Celebrities tweet reactions to FIBA game brawl)

The now-viral brawl started midway through the 3rd quarter of the match, with punches and kicks being thrown from both the Filipino and Australian players. The brawl led to 9 Gilas players and 4 Australians being thrown out of the game.

The Philippine team lost the game to Australia by default, 89-53. – Rappler.com