WATCH: FIBA honors Pinoys as 'Most Valuable Fans' of World Cup
The Philippine national team may have failed to make it past the preliminary stages of the FIBA Basketball World Cup, but the world basketball body still couldn't help but recognize the legions of fans that cheered on Gilas Pilipinas during the competition.
FIBA honored Filipino supporters with the Most Valuable Fan (MVF) Best Country Award, with the announcement coming at halftime of the tournament's final match between the United States and Serbia.
According to FIBA, MVF points were accumulated through a variety of actions on social media, with users encouraged to show their support for their national teams on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts with the hashtag #Spain2014.
"All points earned by fans that support the same national team (are) accumulated to determine the MVF Best Country Award," said FIBA.
Even though the award was based on online fervor, the support spilled over to the venue in Seville, where the Philippines competed in the world basketball stage for the first time in 36 years. The fan support at the venue surprised even members of the team.
"Sobrang flattered kasi we never expected na ganun karami e. Almost 'yung coliseum namin na pinaglaruan, napuno," said reserve big man Beau Belga.
Gilas also became darlings of international media during the competition, with one NBA writer ruing the team's early elimination. — JST, GMA News
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