Players, coaches turn into fans after Gilas’ big win over China

Photo from Fiba.com
Social media exploded after the Philippines’ monumental victory over China Wednesday night in the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup in Beirut, Lebanon.
The Filipinos showed tremendous heart and grit in beating the Asian champions, 96-87, at the start of the continental tilt and that fact did not escape the fans.
READ: Philippines stuns China to open 2017 Fiba Asia Cup bid
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Gilas Pilipinas was playing with an undermanned, All-Filipino roster with June Mar Fajardo sitting out with an injured calf and naturalized center Andray Blatche begging off a week before the tournament.
Perhaps the biggest cheerleader of Gilas Pilipinas was sportsman-businessman Manny V. Pangilinan, who couldn’t help but be proud of the Filipinos’ effort in the victory.

What a great win tonight!Made more special with an all Filipino crew. Great job Team. Great job @coachot !
— Manny V. Pangilinan (@iamMVP) August 9, 2017

The whole country was watching tonight, and rejoicing. Nakakatayo ng balahibo! And very proud of you. #PUSO
— Manny V. Pangilinan (@iamMVP) August 9, 2017

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Ginebra coach Tim Cone, a former national team coach, also marveled at the Filipinos’ tenacity against their Asian rivals, saying Gilas Pilipinas is “ready for anyone.”
READ: Gilas shatters Great Wall
He also praised his player Japeth Aguilar, who made a big impact on the defensive end, with a team-best five blocks.

Who’s next??? Bring ’em on!! Gilas is ready for anyone!
— Tim Cone (@manilacone) August 9, 2017

Sweet win. Proud of Japeth. Chot coached brilliantly. Like all of us in the PBA, China didn’t know what to do with Terrence. Again, awesome!
— Tim Cone (@manilacone) August 9, 2017

Fellow players–some former members of the national team—also took to Twitter to share their excitement over the Filipinos’ strong start in the Fiba Asia Cup, where the country has finished second the past two editions.
Jimmy Alapag, who was part of the team that ended the Philippines’ curse to South Korea in 2013, put into words what Gilas players are probably feeling right now.

No better feeling than getting the opportunity to represent our country!!! #PUSO 🇵🇭🏀❤️
— Jimmy Alapag (@JAlapag3) August 9, 2017

LA Tenorio, meanwhile, turned into a big fan—like most of those who witnessed Terrence Romeo’s mesmerizing performance against China—when talking about the sly guard.

Grabe ka @tbvromeo!!! #Puso #LabanPilipinas
— L.A Tenorio (@LA_Tenorio) August 9, 2017

Romeo unleashed 26 points including eight of the Philippines last 12 points that put Gilas Pilipinas out of danger in the last four minutes of the game.

He’s on his way to earning nick name of big shot Romeo of Asia @hoopnut @JAlapag3 @FIBA
— sam daghlas (@samd13) August 9, 2017

Not surprised by @tbvromeo performance… I gotta guard that every day in practice!! 🕺🕺🕺🕺
— mike cortez (@mikecortez_11) August 9, 2017

Helll f**king yea!!! I see you T-Romeo!!! Lil bro Balling! #PUSO
— Asi Taulava (@agelessasi88) August 9, 2017

Terrence Romeo is taking over the clutch role that Jimmy Alapag left! #BigTimeClutchBaskets @tbvromeo @JAlapag3 #LetsGoPilipinas #Gilas
— Vince Hizon (@VinceHizon12) August 9, 2017

Gilas Pilipinas hopes to sustain the momentum as it faces Iraq on Friday in the continuation of the group stages.

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