NEWS | March 14, 2019

Philippines and US Army Soldiers Play Basketball

By Pfc. Elizabeth Johnson

FORT MAGSAYSAY, Philippines -- The hot sun beat down on the players as they ran from one end of the court to the other, a bright orange ball bouncing towards a hoop before the other team steals it. It is the Philippine Army versus the U.S. Army. Soldiers sit on the sidelines cheering their team on while music plays in the background.

Filipino and U.S. Soldiers played a game of basketball at Fort Magsaysay, Philippines, on March 11, 2019, as part of Exercise Salaknib 2019. The basketball game allowed Soldiers to take a break from training and compete together, which strengthened the bond of fellowship between U.S. and Filipino Soldiers.

"The good relationship between our countries, basically this is the point of all this," said Philippine Army Capt. Julio Vicente.

Building a good work environment is not just doing training exercises together. It is starting up a game of basketball for a day to enjoy the humid air and hot sun. The score for both teams was close and the game was neck and neck. The U.S. Army won by a few points.

"They (the Philippine soldiers) were really good; they were really tough. They ran a lot. They do a lot of running," said U.S. Army Pfc. Justin Adams, Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division.

Training together and doing group activities allows the Philippine Army and the U.S. Army the opportunity to work together and to learn different things about each other as a military.

"The U.S. has been working with the Philippines since WWII," said Vicente. "The Philippine and U.S. Army are constantly building up good relations because camaraderie is an important thing to not cut what has been established."

Combining training and playing together enables Soldiers from both countries to develop mutual respect, trust and partnership, which also allows the service members the ability to build lasting relationships.