Just moments after the buzzer sounded on the Philippines’ victory over China in its final outing in the FIBA World Cup, social media came alive with raucous chatter, shares, and comments about how the Gilas team was able to get some measure of revenge from the alleged abuses committed by China in the West Philippine Sea.

Gilas Pilipinas_China.jpgFilipino crowd erupts in cheers and applause after Gilas Pilipinas defeated China with a 96-75 win on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023. (Poch Eulalia/MANILA BULLETIN)

A solid push in the third frame helps Gilas Pilipinas capture its first-ever and lone FIBA World Cup home win.

The phrases #GilasPilipinas, West Philippine Sea, and China are currently trending on X (formerly Twitter), along with the names of Jordan Clarkson, Junemar Fajardo, Dwight Ramos, Rhenz Abando, Scottie Thompson, and Kai Sotto.

While most were congratulatory messages, a lot of posts also pointed out to how the win against China felt sweet amid the bullying of the Philippines over territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea.

“Clarkson bombing 3s like how China's bombing our fishing boats in the West Philippine Sea,” X user @peamupbupper wrote, referring to the water cannon incident at the Ayungin Shoal more than three weeks ago.

“Won’t lie. There’s something extra satisfying about beating China,” said @polo_bustamante.

“Sana hindi tayo burado sa mapa bukas (Hopefully, we’re not deleted from the map tomorrow),” @clive143cheol chimed in, referring to China’s recently released 10-dash line that now covers Taiwan and the whole Spratly Islands, including the Philippines’ Kalayaan Island Group (KIG).

“A journey that started with too many heartbreaks but at least we ended with a win on our homecourt and a China defeat will always be a win for us Filipinos,” @fangurlimnida shared.

“The West Philippine Sea is never far from our thoughts as the Philippines wins against China in the #FIBAWorldCup2023, hehehe,” @NetteyTweets said while sharing a screenshot of the current trending topics on X.

Most of the posts also claimed that the win meant “Amin ang West Philippine Sea (West Philippine Sea is ours)!”

But netizens were not the only ones gunning for a Gilas win as Senator Bato Dela Rosa shared a photo of himself with Senate President Migz Zubiri and Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva wearing “WEST PH SEA” statement shirts during the game.

Another photo also showed Senator Bong Go wearing the same shirt.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2023/9/2/pinoys-erupt-in-social-media-after-gilas-pilipinas-crushes-china-to-end-world-cup)