National Basketball Association (NBA) team San Antonio Spurs just honored a Filipino-American soldier who served under the United States during World War II as part of the team’s Military Appreciation Night.
The veteran, 103-year-old Liban Brillantes, was honored during the Spurs game at the AT&T Center in San Antonio last Thursday, Coconuts Manila reported. At the ceremony, he was handed his own Spurs jersey with the number 103.
Brillantes started his career in the military at the age of 19 when he worked as a messenger between the U.S. and the Philippine government during World War II. He reportedly gave advantage to American troops after gaining the trust of Japanese forces who invaded the Philippines by sending the latter group to the opposite direction.
Even before the actual ceremony, Brillantes was very much excited when he heard that he would be honored at the Spurs event, according to his granddaughter Precious Joy Ross when speaking to San Antonio-Express News.
“When he heard it, he said, ‘When are we going?! When are we going?!’” she said.
Brillantes, who now resides in San Antonio, was originally from Nangas-asan in Abra province, Philippines. He became a citizen in the U.S. seven years after moving from his country at the age of 85.
Featured image screenshot via Facebook / San Antonio Spurs