Egilas cover

PLMayer represents PH, finishes fourth in eFIBA World Finals in Sweden

Written by Raniel Paquingan • Board by Mary Joy Cerniaz | 10 December 23

Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) student Isaiah Vincent Alindada and the eGilas squad have proven the country's gaming brilliance as they snagged fourth place in the Westerner-dominated eFIBA Season 2 World Finals at Jönköping, Sweden, Nov. 25–26.

eGilas Pilipinas, the Philippines’ official basketball eSports team composed of Alindada or "PHI_Ice2fast," Clark “PHI_ZavaLCB” Banzon, Kenneth “PHI_Clue” Gutierrez, Prich “PHI_DonPriich-” Diez, and Julian “PHI_Social” Mallillin, fell short of a podium finish as Turkey spoiled the squad's tournament dreams, 62-46.

Before entering the bronze medal match, the Filipinos faced the eventual champions, the United States of America (USA), but our representatives failed to get hold of the lead until the final buzzer, kneeling down to the kings of the tournament in two games, 43-33 and 67-33.

Despite this "almost but not quite" ending, eGilas still brought home 4,000 euros, or over P240,000.

The national squad also dominated the regional qualifiers of the tourney with a flawless record against other Southeast Asian countries, which punched them their ticket to the world finals.

Amidst the continuous rise of eSports in the country, this type of sport that is played on PlayStation consoles, where teams work together like a true basketball team in the 5v5 ProAm mode of NBA2K24, is still foreign to the public.

In an online interview, Alindada even shared how small the 2K community is in the Philippines compared to western countries like the USA, which already have established competitions.

"Sa Philippines, sobrang liit lang ng community ng NBA2K. Ilang eSports team lang, parang tatatlo lang ata. Sa atin maliit lang yung competition, maliit lang yung teams na pwedeng makalaban, mas konti lang yung experiences natin," he said.

But despite this little exposure, Alindada still found success and a career in the sport, which started with just a curiosity to try different online games during the pandemic.

According to the PLM information technology student, he still plans to compete in various upcoming 2K tournaments while balancing gaming with his studies.

"School lagi yung priority ko, kapag may pasok, hindi ako pwedeng maglaro," Alindada added.

In a doubters-filled eSports industry, Alindada left some words of motivation for those who also dream to represent the country in this type of sport and follow in his footsteps.

"Always do what you want. Sundan mo lagi yung passion mo.…try to be the best and never give up lang," he stated.