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Aug 14, 2014
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Today, we take a trip on our #throwback machine to August 10, 2013, a date that all Filipinos universally recognize as "The Day That We Finally Beat Those Darned Koreans."

On that day, Gilas Pilipinas—led by gutsy performances from Jayson Castro and Marc Pingris, and the heroics of Jimmy Alapag and Ranidel de Ocampo—beat South Korea in the semifinal round of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship, 86-79.

The game had many gut-wrenching lead changes and big shots. Gilas's victory secured our country's berth to the FIBA World Cup, the first in four decades. The next day, Gilas would lose to Iran in the Finals, 85-71. But that we qualified for the world basketball's biggest stage was enough of a reward.

It was the nation's biggest semifinal match ever, if the overwhelming outpour of hugs, tears, screams, and high fives amongst Gilas teammates—and among those in attendance at the Mall Of Asia Arena and those who watched in sports bars—were any indication.

As these men put on our nation's colors once again in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain, which starts on August 30, let's rewind the clock to a year and a few days ago, and reminisce about the game that had even the hardest Pinoy barakos in tears.

To get you all warmed up, here's a highlight video:

The full game is also up on YouTube, though we're not sure how long it will be viewable before FIBA decides to take it down.

Now, on to the individual performances...


JAYSON WILLIAM (CASTRO) TORE UP KOREA FROM THE INSIDE

Jayson Castro switched on "Superstar Mode" and tore Korea's defense to shreds with his lightning-fast daredevil drives. He finished with a team-leading 17 points, along with three boards and three dimes, and a permanent imprint of his all-world quickness on our mind. When Korea threatened to pull away, Castro countered with relentless attacks to the basket that sometimes led to sweet dimes, like this:

Castro would go on to become a Mythical Five selection in the tournament.


JIMMY ALAPAG PROVED HE WAS BORN WITH BALLS OF STEEL

With Korea nipping at our heels, 81-79, in the game's final minute, the veteran Alapag sized up the defense, dribbled to the three-point line, rose, and swooshed in a dagger three. Fifty four seconds left, 84-79. The rocking arena smelled victory, and Korea would never score again.

Alapag and his four three-pointers provided the counterpunch to Korea's Kim Mingoo, who finished with 23 points and five long-range bombs.

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NEXT: The #Puso Forwards, Pingris and RDO!


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