National Basketball Association (NBA) team the San Antonio Spurs honored a fan who’s a Filipino veteran.
The former NBA champion paid tribute to Liban Brillantes, who served as a soldier in the United States Army during World War II and a big Spurs fan.
The 103-year-old Filipino veteran was at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas last Wednesday, March 20 (Thursday, March 21, PH time) as part of the Spurs’ Military Appreciation Night.
Although he was born and raised in Nangas-asan Abra, Philippines, Brillantes is now a resident of San Antonio, Texas. Brilliantes moved to the United States at the age of 85 and 7 years later, officially became a US citizen.
He joined the US Army’s 121st Infantry division at the age of 19 and works as a messenger between the U.S. and the Philippine government.
After the war started between Japan and the United States in 1941, he participated against the Japanese and appeared as a farmer befriending the Japanese soldiers. Brillantes was actually a “secret intelligence” sending messages. Because of his role, he saved a lot of American soldiers by directing many Japanese in the opposite direction, giving the Americans an advantage during that time.
Brillantes wore a Barong Tagalog and received on-court amid cheers and applause from the crowd during the Spurs tribute. He was also given a customized Spurs jersey, which sports the number “103”; his age embroidered on the back.
On Twitter, the official account of Spurs shared a video of the tribute, which received warm greetings from netizens all over the world.
One netizen tweeted, “He’s even wearing a Barong Tagalog. Still proud of his country even though he’s already living in San Antonio. Salute to you, Sir!”
Another netizen @GoSpursGo also replied, “Dude’s a straight up hero. Thank you sir for your service!”
Meanwhile, on Facebook, the video was also shared and received comments with recognition to the 103-year-old veteran.
His granddaughter, Precious Joy Ross, thanked everyone for the good wishes. She wrote, “Thank you everyone for your kind words! I’m his granddaughter I’m reading them to him now!”