MADRID, Spain —Aside from giving recognition to the top three squads and the mythical five members, the international basketball federation (FIBA) honored several names at the culminating day of their flagship event 2014 FIBA World Cup at the Palacios de los Deportes.
Twenty-three-year-old Spanish Ismael Terron Panadero was named the Most Valuable Fan (MVF) of the tournament after topping the FIBA’ s digital campaign to involve fans at the two-week festivity through the means of their broad range in social actions, including the usage of hashtag #Sapin2014.
Panadero received his MVF trophy from Spain’s basketball legend Fernando Romay at the halftime of the championship game between Serbia and the United States on Sunday evening.
“It’s an amazing experience. This is the most memorable moment of my life. I’m really thankful to FIBA and the Basketball World Cup for this opportunity,” said Panadero, who confesses to being a supporter for Spain and the US.
“I’m a big fan of Pau Gasol. For me, he’s a legendary player. From among others my guy is Derrick Rose (of the USA). I love how he overcame the injuries to come here and gave us (fans) joy,” added Panadero.
Aside from the Spanish fan, FIBA also gave Philippines the MVF Best Country Award.
In addition, the sports-governing body also played a video during the halftime break, showcasing their tribute to the Gilas Pilipinas squad for making it to the world cup stage once again, after four decades.
“All points earned by fans that support the same national team (are) accumulated to determine the MVF Best Country Award, FIBA said in a statement.
Despite ranking 21st out of 24 participating teams, FIBA recognized the unwavering and unequaled passion brought by the Southeast Asian county, which last appeared in the 1978, or when the country hosted the World Basketball championships.
Prior to their sojourn to Spain, Philippines garnered silver medal in the 2013 FIBA Asian Championships held at Manila.
The FIBA stated that the concept of MVF was directly inspired from the ultimate individual honor given to an outstanding basketball player in the tournament known as the Most Valuable Player (MVP).
See FIBA’s video tribute for Gilas Pilipinas here: