#BallisLife: Popular Pinoy basketball terms you should know

It’s no secret the Philippines is a basketball-loving nation. You see makeshift courts at around almost every corner. People playing barefoot or in their slippers or flip-flops, nothing beats streetball here in the country.

The amusing part of streetball are the slang words people use at times to describe certain basketball plays.

Here are a few popular basketball terms each Pinoy baller should know by now:


This is commonly used during shootarounds. If you make a shot, you say “bek” to get the ball back for a second attempt. A variation of this is “bek, shoot” where you keep getting the ball back as long as you keep making shots.


Referred to a shot that hits nothing but the side of the backboard, which usually happens with baseline jumpers.


A pretty nasty block.


These are often used to call someone who doesn’t seem to like passing that much. The person has his blinders on, hogs the ball and doesn’t trust his teammates. You don’t want to be called this so don’t be a blackhole.


Photo from BuhayBasket/Instagram


This usually works with layups. When you have a tough angle on the shot, you use a little english on the ball by flicking it with your wrist so that when the ball hits the backboard it has a chance to go in.


Use this each time you own your defender on a play or hit a contested shot over him. Saying “panis” is like rubbing it in. It’s the local version of “IN YOUR FACE!”


The term ballers use to refer to a shot that finds nothing but the bottom of the net. Clean as a whistle. Use “swak” the same way you use it to describe something that fell perfectly into place or is just right.


Do you know any other Pinoy basketball terms?