The ESPN5.com editorial team recall their favorite moments from the just-concluded 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Chuck Araneta: When James Deiparine won the 100m breaststroke. It ended a 10-year drought, and signaled what could be a new golden age of swimming for a country that has produced several great athletes in that field.
JC Ansis: The exact moment athletes realize they win a medal. The crying, the screaming, the celebrations, the waving of the flag -- it gives you chills. I was lucky enough to watch Carlos Yulo (gymnastics), Jylyn Nicanor (fencing) and Jamie Lim (karate) win gold medals. All of these athletes are heroes, winning battles not only for themselves, but for the entire nation. There's nothing like seeing them succeed. It's such a powerful thing to witness.
Jan Ballesteros: Jaron Requinton soaring for the game-sealing kill, then breaking into tears as his teammates swarmed him on the sandcourt in Subic. Requinton and the Philippine men's beach volleyball team secured the bronze by virtue of the thrilling win over Singapore. It is the country's first medal in history and it's one of the rare times a bronze glitters like gold.
Charlie Cuna: I'd say every time Hidilyn would smile when she would complete her lifts and when Eumir Marcial beat his Viet opponent into submission in just a little over a minute in the gold medal bout. Hidilyn's smiles showed her pureness of heart and sheer joy in competing for her country. Eumir's brutal power and killer instinct were showcased as he sought to grab the gold for flag and country.
Paolo del Rosario: As the team's resident football aficionado, I really enjoyed the runs of the Azkals and Malditas in the SEA Games. Sure they didn't result in medals, but they were tantalizingly close to make a splash on the podium. Things didn't go their way, but I am encouraged by what they have shown and I'm already excited for 2021. In other sports, I really enjoyed the runs of the men's volleyball team and the Gilas women. Both under appreciated teams in huge spectator sports in the country. They deserved their time in the limelight.
Richard Dy: Witnessing the Gilas Pilipinas women's team win the country's first-ever gold medal in Southeast Asian Games women's basketball is my favorite moment. The heartbreaks of the two previous SEA Games stints have sure toughened the players and gave them enough motivation to complete the task by winning it on home soil.
Charmie Lising: (1) Caloy Yulo owning the floor like he did in the world gymnastics championships, but this time with the home crowd cheering him on; (2) the PH men's volleyball team barging into the top two for the first time in over four decades with a massive upset of the five-peat seeking Thailand.
Philip Matel: My favorite moment was when I was able to cover and watch Olympic gold medalist Joseph Schooling rule the newly-built NCC Aquatics Center. I was curious on how he would fare here, and he did deliver. The Filipino crowd also adored him, perhaps proud of the fact that there was the man that beat Michael Phelps compete right before their very eyes. The Philippine swimming contingent surely did not disappoint, as they racked medal after medal almost every night of the tournament. It was also nice to see us end a 10-year gold medal drought on opening day.
Carlo Pamintuan: A low key favorite moment for me was the dominance of the Filipina cue artists. Chezka Centeno and Rubilen Amit arranged Philippines vs Philippines gold medal matches in the 10-Ball and 9-Ball Singles with both winning one.
They carried this momentum to a dominant run in the women's 9-Ball Doubles event where they were basically untouchable. After surviving a tough hill-hill match against Singapore in the quarterfinals, Centeno and Amit stepped it up a notch. They races to a 4-0 lead in the semifinals against Indonesia to win 7-3. Amit sealed the deal with a 1-9 carom for an ineffable ending to the match. They played even better against another team from Indonesia in the gold-medal match as they scored a flawless 7-0 victory.
It was as close to perfection as possible coming from the pair as they barely had any misses or positional faults to dominate the event.
Jutt Sulit: I don't think there was any moment more golden that Roger Casugay aborting his medal mission to save his opponent from drowning. In these games, we put so much emphasis on winning medals. Our athletes pours out everything from training to the competition itself. But Roger reminded us that there are things far more important than hardware around your neck.
Yoyo Sarmenta: Gilas Pilipinas Women winning their first gold medal in the SEA Games was a huge moment for the country and for female athletes.
Sid Ventura: I was in Jakarta eight years ago when the Philippines should have won its first-ever SEA Games gold medal in women's basketball.
The ladies were up by 3 with less than 10 seconds remaining and were one stop away from beating Thailand and all but locking up the gold medal. A Thai player missed with less than 3 seconds left, and Ewon Arayi grabbed the rebound. It was over. A referee blew his whistle, and everyone was assuming that it was for a foul on another Thai player who had bumped Arayi from behind just as she had corralled the rebound and sent her forward a few steps.
But instead, incredibly, she was whistled for a traveling violation, giving Thailand one last chance to send the game into overtime with less than 2 seconds left. Another Thai player faked off a defender and buried a triple at the buzzer. Overtime. But members of the Philippine media seated on press row, myself included, all saw a foot on the line. It should have been just a 2. There was no review back then, so the call stood, even though all of us were raising two fingers and mouthing to the refs, "Two points!".
The Philippines went on to lose in overtime, 75-73, to settle for the silver medal. The memory of being courtside for that stinging loss is why my favorite moment of the 30th Southeast Asian Games is the Gilas Women finally winning it all. This time, there would be no controversial calls or overtime periods. Just a convincing 20-point win against, somewhat fittingly, Thailand.
Eros Villanueva: I've never been really fond of dancing, but seeing the Philippine dancesport team dominate right off the bat on the first day was a different experience. In the sport's return after 14 years, the Filipinos wasted no time stamping their class and set a standard by winning 10 golds -- the largest single-day haul by any Philippine team in any sport -- with glamour, poise and ferocity in every calculated step and sway. So much more is in store for these terrific athletes, and I hope they continue getting the recognition they deserve.
Noel Zarate: During the anchor leg of the intriguing 4x100 m mixed relay when Eric Cray turned into "The Flash" in the last 50m to steal the win. It was some sort of redemption from his being disqualified from the 100m run. I also got to witness the future as Kheith Rhynne Cruz (13 years old) showed no fear in the table tennis competition. She could be the heir apparent of Ian Larriba.