CHANGSHA, China – Gabe Norwood said the highlight reel play he pulled off in the Fiba Asia Championship during Gilas’ game against India on Tuesday wasn’t intentional.
The high-leaping guard of Rain or Shine explained he was simply trying to make contact with the ball in the hope of getting a foul after soaring high to chase a missed shot by teammate Dondon Hontiveros.
Norwood caught the leather in mid-air and tapped it back into the basket in a move that drew a collective sigh from the sparse crowd inside the Changsha Social Work Colleges here.
The basket gave Gilas an 80-60 lead midway through the fourth period.
“I just tried to jump as high as I can, tried to make contact, and keep it (ball) alive,” recalled Norwood with a smile about the play that caught even the attention of Gilas teammates Andray Blatche, Ranidel de Ocampo, and Marc Pingris.
Asked if he was trying to dunk the ball for a fitting end to the spectacular play, Norwood, said, “I was just trying to make a contact, and really, I couldn’t get a full grip of the ball.”
Norwood electrified the basketball world last year following his memorable dunk over Luis Scola during the Fiba-World Cup game between Gilas and Argentina in Spain.
The former George Mason University stalwart said he wasn’t really aware how high he soared for the putback play not until he was told by Blatche and De Ocampo about it during a timeout huddle by Gilas.
“I really don’t know how high it was. I was just trying to go after it, and kinda aim towards the rim,” he said.
But on second thought, Gabe said he could have really jumped that high owing to the presence of a couple of tall Indian players underneath the basket during that sequence.
“They have seven footers down there, so if I wanted to get (the ball), I have to jump as high as I can,” he added.
For good measure, he’ll asked the Gilas team for a tape of the India game to see it for himself.
“Yeah, we’ll see what happens. Hopefully we have it on our tape,” said a smiling Norwood.