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7 Gilas Pilipinas Facts Basketball Fans Should Know

Gilas Pilipinas facts

The hardwood echoes with the sound of bouncing balls, the crowd murmurs in anticipation, and then it roars as the ball slips through the hoop – 3 points. It’s no secret that the Philippines is a country that’s swept up in basketball fever. And among its basketball giants is the Philippine men’s basketball team, Gilas Pilipinas. With the Gilas Pilipinas 2023 team leaving their impression on the international stage at FIBA 2023, they’ve become a symbol of Filipino pride.

In this listicle, we’re going to unveil 7 facts about the Gilas Pilipinas 2023 team that has captured the hearts of fans across the nation.

1. The name Gilas Pilipinas was established in 2009

Gilas Pilipinas 2009-2010 roster
Image credit: Jude Roque via ESPN

Gilas Pilipinas men’s basketball isn’t just a team; it’s a legacy. The national basketball team has had its fair share of names – from the Islanders in the 1936 Olympic Games and RP 5 or RP team in 1946 after becoming a republic to Gilas Pilipinas in 2009 until now. This basketball team has been a force to reckon with in Asia.

Now, Gilas Pilipinas 2023 has been making waves in FIBA and international competitions. Widely known for their fiery spirit and relentless hustle attitude, they’re a force to be reckoned with.

2. The Gilas mantra is “Puso

Gilas Pilipinas Scottie Thompson, Jordan Clarkson, Kiefer Ravena
Image credit: @donthypeme via Instagram

Puso is the beating heart of Gilas Pilipinas. It’s a Tagalog word that means heart, and it symbolizes the team’s unwavering determination to give their all, regardless of the odds. It’s a word that resonates with fans and players alike.

3. The 2013 FIBA Asia silver medal was a big turning point for Gilas Pilipinas

Gilas Pilipinas 2023 FIBA World CupImage credit: via FIBA

The rivalry between Gilas and Iran has produced some unforgettable moments. In 2013, the Philippines clinched a dramatic victory over Iran in the FIBA Asia Championship, marking a historic win against a perennial powerhouse.

It’s one of the most memorable moments in Gilas Pilipinas history because they secured the silver medal at the FIBA Asia Championship. This feat earned the team a ticket to the 2014 FIBA World Cup, sparking immense pride and excitement among Filipino basketball enthusiasts.

4. The national team has won 19 SEA Games basketball championships

Gilas Pilipinas Gold SEA Games
Image credit: @new11new via Instagram

Known as a  Southeast Asian powerhouse basketball team, Gilas holds the most championship wins at the 5×5 Men’s basketball in SEA Games history.

The Gilas Pilipinas team won our 19th gold medal out of 22 during the 32nd SEA Games.

5. Coach Tim Cone is leading Gilas for the third time

Tim Cone
Image credit: Smart Gilas Pilipinas via Facebook

The 19th Asian Games will be Tim Cone’s third stint in coaching the national team. Hailed as the winningest coach of PBA, basketball fans were delighted by the news of him taking the role of the Gilas Pilipinas 2023’s interim coach.

He steered the Centennial Team to an epic bronze at the 1998 Asian Games. Before that, he led the squad to a victorious training camp in the U.S., capturing the 1998 William Jones Cup.

In 2019, he returned as head coach for the Southeast Asian Games after Yeng Guiao’s departure post-2019 FIBA World Cup.

6.  Jordan Clarkson was the first Filipino-American NBA player to represent the PH

Jordan Clarkson
Image credit: @donthypeme via Instagram

NBA sensation Jordan Clarkson’s choice to represent the Philippines sent shockwaves through the basketball world. His explosive skills and heartfelt commitment to his mother’s homeland have made him an instant icon among Filipino fans.

Clarkson made a historic record with the Gilas Pilipinas 2023 roster at the 19th FIBA World Cup while playing against China. He scored a whopping 24 points in less than 4 minutes during the third quarter. Including his shooting spree of 5 consecutive 3 points.

7.  Gilas Pilipinas consists of global players

Gilas FIBA World Cup team
Image credit: via FIBA

Several players who have represented Gilas Pilipinas have gone on to play professionally in international leagues and the NBA. Their success on the global stage continues to shine a positive light on Philippine basketball.

Some Gilas players are playing as imports for international leagues, such as Dwight Ramos, Kiefer Ravena, and Kai Sotto who are all playing in Japan’s B. League. Meanwhile, Rhenz Abando is playing at the KBL (Korean Basketball League). On the other hand, Jordan Clarkson is a Filipino-American NBA player.

Supporting our national team

Gilas Pilipinas’ journey has been punctuated by triumphs and tribulations, yet they’ve remained unwavering in their commitment to hoisting the flag high. With each dribble and every basket, they remind us that puso is what truly defines them as champions.

As we continue to rally behind them, let’s celebrate the undeniable fact that they are more than a basketball team – they are a source of inspiration and a testament to the unifying power of sports for a nation.

If you want to read more about sports personalities, check out this list of handsome Filipino athletes, or get to know KBL player David Ildefonso

Cover image adapted from: @kzsotto via Instagram, @donthypeme via Instagram, via FIBA