Social media was abuzz after Gilas Pilipinas gutted out a heart-stopping 81-78 victory versus rivals South Korea to punch a ticket to the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup.
Guard SJ Belangel nailed an absurd bank shot from the right wing at the buzzer to allow the Filipinos get the better of the Koreans for the first time since the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship semifinals.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Chairman Sen. Sonny Angara was almost rendered speechless after the Philippine national team's 17-point comeback.
Wow 🇵🇭— Sonny Angara (@sonnyangara) June 16, 2021
Erstwhile captain Rey Suerte, unable to join the team due to an injured ankle, turned emotional following the win.
Lang hiya ka @sjbelangel !!! pinaiyak mo ako 😭😭😭— Rey Anthony Suerte (@rey_suerte04) June 16, 2021
Belangel's other Gilas teammates who were not there were also left in awe.
FTW! Let's go boys 🇵🇭— Juan Gómez de Liaño (@juan_swish9) June 16, 2021
BRO— Dave Ildefonso (@ildavefonso) June 16, 2021
Former Gilas coaches, for their part, expressed congratulations on the impressive win.
Wow, what a way to win. Awesome! Congrats Gilas!!— Tim Cone (@manilacone) June 16, 2021
COUNTED!!! Gilas Wins!!!— Chot Reyes (@coachot) June 16, 2021
Onetime Gilas stalwarts exclaimed their felicitations as well.
ISSA WRAP 🇵🇭🇵🇭🇵🇭🇵🇭🇵🇭🇵🇭— Kiefer Ravena (@kieferravena) June 16, 2021
Congratulations Gilas Pilipinas! 🇵🇭🇵🇭🇵🇭#LabanPilipinas— L.A Tenorio (@LA_Tenorio) June 16, 2021
Thirdy Ravena, fresh off his first season in the Japanese B.League, also tweeted his elation.
Grabe kayo panoorin sobrang nakakatuwa! 💪🏽 Grabe ka SJ!— Thirdy (@ThirdyRavenaaa) June 16, 2021
Even athletes outside of basketball were in high spirits after the triumph.
GILASSSS!!! SOLID!!!— Alyssa Valdez (@AlyssaValdez2) June 16, 2021
The Philippines needed this win, badly.— Gretchen Ho (@gretchenho) June 16, 2021
Sarap sa puso. #LabanPilipinas 🇵🇭
While he was the hero of the game, Belangel's hairdo was a point of contention for former Ateneo teammate and now Meralco sparkplug Aaron Black.
Someone pls send a barber to the Clark bubble for @sjbelangel 🤣— Aaron Black (@aaronblack_8) June 16, 2021
Congratulations, Gilas Pilipinas!