THERE'S nothing like the Philippine flag on his chest to bring out the best in Gabe Norwood.
The last time the Fil-American guard out of George Mason University played this well, he was putting the cuffs on the world's best players and dunking on guys like Luis Scola during Gilas Pilipinas' historic campaign in the 2014 Fiba World Cup in Seville, Spain.
Back in a Gilas uniform three years later, the 6-foot-6 guard is experiencing a career rebirth at 32 as he continues to lead from the front for a much-younger national side now looking to bring home the Philippines' first Asian championship in 31 years.
After heroic perfomances against China and Iraq, the do-it-all Norwood was at it again on Sunday night, stuffing the stats sheets as Gilas held off a brave Qatari side to pull off an 80-74 victory to complete a sweep of Pool B and draw a bye straight to the quarterfinals.
The Rain or Shine guard scored 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting - including 2-of-4 from three-point distance - and, more important, grabbed seven rebounds, the most in a team that played without starting center Christian Standhardinger and lost Calvin Abueva to an ankle injury.
He also had five assists and two shotblocks - both also team-highs - to round out a splendid, 26-minute job that had Gilas riding momentum heading to the quarterfinals on Wednesday.