October 04, 2023

A trip down memory lane: Looking back at the most memorable Gilas plays ever

A trip down memory lane: Looking back at the most memorable Gilas plays ever

It seems the announcement of Luis Scola as FIBA’s World Cup Global Ambassador have brought a sniff of nostalgia to Filipino hoops fans — probably because he was part of an iconic Gilas moment in the 2014 World Cup. That play, which we will talk about in a bit, got us thinking about the most memorable Gilas plays ever. We came up with these seven:

Jimmy for three


The game that broke the Curse of Korea was full of big plays, but the dagger was Jimmy Alapag’s near straightaway triple with 54 seconds remaining. That booming trey shook MOA Arena, sealed the deal, and towed the Philippines to its first World Cup in 36 years.

Norwood posterizes Scola


That Luis Scola, the FIBA World Cup 2023 Global Ambassador, is a familiar face to Filipino fans should not come as a surprise: After all, our very own Gabe Norwood dunked on him in the 2014 World Cup. Norwood’s jam was athletic and aggressive. It was flashy and fierce. It was world-class.  

Norwood catches a body

It might be hard to believe, but Norwood’s poster of Scola might be his second best dunk only wearing the Gilas red, blue, and white. In that same game in that same World Cup, Gilas Gabe unleased in the third quarter an even more ferocious jam—a lefty in-your-face detonation on the 6-7 Marcos Mata.

Lee stuns China  

 Paul Lee in the clutch is deadly, and the Chinese found out the hard way in the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup — in their home floor. With under 10 seconds left and Gilas down 77-79, Lee received a pass on the left flank in transition, faked off two Chinese defenders, and drew a foul from one of them. Jeered by the crowd, Lee sank not one, not two, but three freebies, with no time left to give the Philippines the bronze.

Belangel wins it at the buzzer

Just last year, SJ Belangel added to the Pilipinas-Korea lore with a near-miraculous, off-balanced, one-legged leaner of a game-winner — from beyond the arc. The win secured for Gilas a spot at the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup in Indonesia later that year.

Tinyente wins the Jones Cup

LA Tenorio has made a career of hitting big shots, and this one from way back in 2012, won for Gilas that year’s Jones Cup. With the Philippines down a point, Tinyente navigated around a Marcus Douthit screen, stepped back at right around the elbow, and swished a mid-ranger to give Team Pilipinas the lead it never relinquished.  

The Bro makes ‘em dance

In the 2015 Jones Cup, Terrence Romeo put Chinese-Taipei’s Huang Jhen on skates — crossing him over twice on his way to a nifty left-hander over the towering Quincy Davis Jr. The move was so good it had Jordan Clarkson, who was watching live then, doing the infamous James Harden “cooking” celebration.

Did we miss something? What do you think? Do let us know as always!