President Rody Duterte electrifies crowd in Gilas-France matchup

Special Olympics athlete Matthew Millett of Team USA with the 3/4 court buzzer beater!

Barely 5 days in office, President Rody Duterte came out to support Gilas Pilipinas’ Olympic comeback bid on Tuesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena. 

Duterte, the 16th President of the Republic, made true to his word to attend the opening day of the Manila FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

His mere presence electrified the pumped up crowd and inspired Gilas, who went off to a strong start where they led by 10 before France took the lead with a big windup in the opening half.

Duterte, who requested to be treated like a regular fan, made his way through the crowd before making the ceremonial toss at the start of the game.

This is the first time that the country is hosting an Olympic qualifier. Gilas is bidding to bring the country back to Olympics since the 1972 Munich Summer Games. – By Alder Almo

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo