A heartwarming and enjoyable time with famous basketball personalities from the Philippines and the Filipino community in New Zealand
At the end of the Day of Prayer and Fasting for the Filipino Community Centre at “Ang Bahay” (Philippine Ambassador’s Residence) on 25 January 2015, the Philippine Embassy Team, the Board of the Bulwagan Foundation Trust and prayer intercessors from the Filipino community were blessed by GOD with the visit of famous basketball personalities from the Philippines, namely, Mr. Josh Reyes, Assistant Coach of the GILAS National Team, Mr. Nash Racela, Head Coach, Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws Team, Mr. Anton Montinola, Owner, FEU Tamaraws and Mr. Mark Molina, Athletic Director, FEU. They were accompanied by Mr. David Perez, Board Member, New Zealand Basketball Academy, Mrs. Rosie Perez, Mr. Joseph Nunag, FEU Scholar and FEU Tamaraws Player and his Mother, Ms. Gina Nunag from Auckland. Coach Reyes, Coach Racela and the FEU Tamaraws Team Owner and Director visited Wellington as part of their mission to scout for Filipino-Kiwi basketball players for the FEU Tamaraws Team and to link up and share knowledge with the New Zealand Basketball Academy and learn more about training programmes and best practices in basketball in New Zealand.
Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez warmly welcomed the Basketball group and together with the Philippine Embassy Team and the Filipino community congratulated young, tall and talented Joseph Nunag for being awarded a scholarship at FEU and opportunity to play with the FEU Tamaraws Team. There was a lively and interactive conversation among the Basketball coaches and the members of their group and the other guests who admired the way that FEU continues to develop and train basketball players from the Philippines as a pathway for a better and more secure future. Ambassador Benavidez thanked Mr. David and Rosie Perez and Ms. Nunag for their invaluable support and assistance in enhancing closer relations and raising connectivity between the Philippines and New Zealand through basketball. “Basketball is considered a national passion, one of the centrepieces of our national sports program, an exhibition of the Filipino people’s prowess and skills in the local, regional and international arenas and a mirror of our national spirit promoting sportsmanship, fair play, excellence, camaraderie and teamwork,” she stated.
Indeed, it was an honour and privilege for the Philippine Embassy and the members of the Filipino community to have met the stalwarts and potential player of the FEU Tamaraws who has earned the reputation and record of having the most number of victories and championships in the men’s basketball division of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).