‘Instant classic’, ‘Ateneo-Pilipinas’: Gilas trends big as Twitter reacts to win vs Korea

Gilas Pilipinas battled back from 17 points down to stun Korea via a buzzer-beating bank shot triple that gave them an 81-78 victory on Wednesday in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers third window played in Pampanga, Philippines.

SJ Belangel hit the game-winner for the national team, which is primarily composed of cadets plus naturalized big man Ange Kouame and NBA prospect Kai Sotto.

The Philippines shook off a bad start and showed composure and poised throughout the game. Five players finished in double-digit scoring, led by Dwight Ramos’ 16 points and Belangel’s 13. Kouame and Sotto added 12 and 11, respectively.

The game sent shockwaves on social media, as 11 of the top 20 Philippine Twitter trends right after were all related to the Gilas-Kora affair, including “buzzer beater”, “Dwight Ramos”, “SJ Belangel”, “Coach Tab”, “#LabanPilipinas”, “Kai Sotto”, “Carl Tamayo”, and “SoKor.”

Over on social media, even PBA players, including former Gilas members themselves, couldn’t help but react to Gilas’ resounding victory, its first over its Asian rivals since the 2013 miracle at the FIBA Asia Championship in Manila.


Some 2019 SEA Games gold medalists kept it short after witnessing Belangel’s buzzer-beater.

And yes, this is an absolute win for both Gilas and the Ateneo basketball program’s future.


Former wing men Gabe Norwood and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser called the match-up an instant classic while also unable to hide their emotions throughout the game.

Barangay Ginebra’s Jared Dillinger also got excited after the result of the contest.

Even former national team head coach Chot Reyes got nervous when Korea tied the game with a triple late, 78-all.

Luckily, a sigh of relief afterwards for the multi-awarded veteran tactician at TNT KaTropa.

The only thing missing, obviously, were Filipino fans. We feel your sentiments regarding our hometown crowd, coach Tim.

Sidelined Gilas cadet Juan Gomez de Liano himself offered an assessment of his teammate.

Here are the rest of social media reactions from prominent tweeps:

FIBA.basketball photo

Levi Joshua Jr Verora

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