The national basketball team, Gilas Pilipinas, is currently in the Middle East to face off with two more teams, Qatar and Kazakhstan, in the last window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers.
During their sendoff practice, PLDT, Smart, together with Free Bee, showed solid support by providing Smart Travel Wi-Fi kits to help them stay in touch with friends, family, and millions of fans when competing internationally.
“Smart definitely helps us with that, through Smart Wi-Fi. You can keep that open line of communication to your family, kids, and fans. It keeps relationships strong,” said Gilas Forward Gabe Norwood.
“The Smart Travel Wi-Fi is a complement to our existing roaming services to keep you connected whenever you travel. Smart Roaming keeps an individual securely connected while Smart Travel Wi-Fi allows more than one phone or gadget to conveniently access the internet, without spending a lot of money,” said Alice Ramos, VP and Department Head of International Roaming & Carrier Business at Smart.
“Gilas is very close to hearts of the Filipinos and we are supporting them the way that we know best, by keeping them confidently connected wherever the games take them. When they play on foreign courts, we want to make sure that they carry with them the support of the Filipinos. They are one with the millions of fans who just can’t fly, travel, watch and join them physically, but are decidedly with them in spirit,” Ramos added.
Just like the connectivity that the Smart Travel Wi-Fi kit provides, Filipinos abroad can also make long distance calls to any PLDT, Smart, Sun or TNT subscriber in the Philippines by downloading the mobile application Free Bee. OFWs can avail themselves of a free 2-minute call upon listening to a sponsored ad while on a data connection or connected to Wi-Fi.
“The Free Bee app can also help the players, as well as our kababayans who travel to different countries for work or vacation, to call their families in the Philippines for free,” said Jojo Quiamas, PLDT Global’s Head of International Retail Business.
Sports for nation-building
PLDT-Smart has been a staunch supporter of the Gilas Pilipinas program since 2008, a program managed by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
“We are proud to support Gilas Pilipinas in their bid for the World Cup,” said Gabby Cui, AVP and Head of Community Development and Partnerships at Smart.
Smart’s support for the national basketball team is in line with its advocacy of promoting sports development as part of nation-building.