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

By: - Online Sports Editor / @CFColinaINQ
/ 10:46 AM August 10, 2017

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.

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READ: Philippines stuns China to open 2017 Fiba Asia Cup bid

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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TAGS: 2017 Fiba Asia Cup, Gilas Pilipinas, Philippines, Sports
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