Gilas Pilipinas defeated South Korea in FIBA Asia semi-finals

The curse had been lifted!!! So they say ^______^

After so many years of being unsuccessful in the FIBA Asia Championship round, the Philippine National Team finally made it! Wohohoho congratulations!!

Gilas Pilipinas, the official name of the national team, defeated South Korea posting a 7-point lead on the final buzzer, 86-79. The national team’s victory brought back the Philippines into the basketball limelight in Asia and came after two decades of drought in the world basketball inclusion.

The victory was not an easy one because the Korean basketball players performed well and they were great and tough but the spirit of unity, love and support among Filipinos, especially those who came in the MOA Arena, together with prayers and the team’s energy, coordination and determination, made everything possible.

It was a tough road to victory and at the same time very significant and heartwarming because according to Miko Halili and coach Richard Del Rosario, commentators of TV 5, the Korean team had been upsetting the Philippine team’s chance to be included in the final 3 set in the FIBA Asia for so many years. In 1986, 2002 and 2011, the national team almost entered the final round had not Koreans defeated them. So last night’s victory felt like a payback time.

Gilas Pilipinas national team with coach Chot Reyes (wearing white longsleeve)
My favourite player Japeth Aguilar is wearing jersey #14 hehe!

The Philippines already won 5 times(1960, 1963, 1967, 1973 and 1985) in FIBA Asia Championship, but since the 1970s, the national team's campaign to qualify for FIBA world cup remained elusive.

The FIBA Asia is the Asian qualifying tournament for FIBA World Cup which in turn a qualifying match for the Olympic Basketball Tournament.

Haaay! My heartbeat pounded very fast while watching the game on TV last night because it was really thrilling, there were times that I would not watch the action or look at the score because of the tension, the players could not get in the way due to Koreans’ strong defense, both teams were really good.

There was this very high level of energy, confidence and determination to win the game. I could see how each Gilas player struggled to nab the victory. The contribution of each player was fantastic and spectacular, I almost hold my breath every time the ball rolled on their hands hehe! From Marc Pingris to Japeth Aguilar to Jimmy Alapag, wheew! They really invested every skill and style they had just to make the country very proud. Members of the crowd were ecstatic, giving their all-out support to the team.

I always wanted to watch the game live at Mall of Asia Arena but I had a second thought because it seemed too impractical. Pasay City is very far from Caloocan City where I lived and the ticket price is so expensive hehe! And even if I insisted to come to MOA, I would end up buying only the cheapest rate (general admission) P250.00 which is very far from the court and I might not get a good view of the game so it’s better to remain at home and watch the action on television.

My super favourite player in Gilas Pilipinas is Japeth Aguilar (#14 Jersey), my God he is so gorgeous, amazing and sooooo sexy!hahaha!!I loooooove this guy gosh!! He is only 26 years old, stands 6’9 and a native of Pampanga, he played with Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP during his college days but moved to the US to play for Western Kentucky University at NCAA. He came home in 2009 and played for Burger King then transferred to Talk n’ Text. As of 2013, Japeth, son of former Ginebra player, Peter Aguilar, followed his father’s stint and now included in the line-up of Barangay Ginebra, hmmm, my original favourite PBA team since 1991 so I have now enough reason to continue rooting for Ginebra, yeeeey!!

Now, the Philippine team is gunning for Gold facing one of Asia’s powerhouse teams, Iran, later at MOA Arena. The first round of the game will open at 4:15pm with Chinese-Taipei vying for Bronze against Korea followed by the most-awaited round of Gilas versus Iran at 7:15pm. But whoever wins it doesn’t matter anymore because the Philippine team is already assured its place in the magic 3 set that will participate next year in FIBA world championship in Madrid, Spain. Congratulations Gilas team!

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