The most unique PBA free throw rituals and attempts of all time

Special Olympics athlete Matthew Millett of Team USA with the 3/4 court buzzer beater!

The camera zooms in as a player pays a visit to the 15-foot line. Everyone tuned in can see their body language before they make an attempt.

From the expression painted in the face to the pacing of the dribble, spectators tensely anticipate whether the shot will go in. While a lot of players prefer to take their charity shots in the least amount of movement possible, there are PBA players who are remembered for their weird or unusual routines and stances. Loyal fans have emulated these during their own games and it is part of what endears these pro ballers to basketball followers.

Call it crazy, funny, or puzzling but these free throw choreographies make a PBA game more entertaining.

The locals

Samboy Lim – The oft-injured San Miguel Beermen was known for his high flying moves and high socks. But fans will never forget how The Skywalker messes up his hair before taking a free throw.

Marlou Aquino – As soon as he plants his foot above the stripe, The Skyscraper wraps the ball around his waist before shooting the ball.

Gary David – In his free throw escapades, this explosive guard kisses the tattoo of his wife on his arm for good luck before taking the shot.

Rudy Distrito – The Destroyers seems to have a cadence in taking a free throw. He dribbles once then pauses, dribbles again, dribbles for a third time, and slightly bends his right knee before releasing the ball.

Egay Billiones – The wiry point guard didn’t have a particularly memorable gesture or release but his backflips after making free throws are worth of the highlight reel.

Chris Jackson – Though he was a perennial All-Defensive team member, the long-time Shell stalwart is not particularly good at the foul line. It’s probably because of the weird twitch his head as soon as he shoots.

Bong Ravena – He takes free throws with the least amount of movement needed. As he gets the ball, he takes a shot after a few seconds without dribbling. It looks like he’s throwing the ball without aiming the rim.

Arwind Santos – If Ravena doesn’t take too much time, the former league MVP takes less effort by not bending his knees when taking a free throw attempt.

Sonny Cabatu – He seems to be checking his armpits before taking a shot. And his release? It’s one of the most unorthodox ones in the PBA. He can barely see the ring due to the placement of his arms.

Olsen Racela – This San Miguel great has a routine sequence. After taking a sign of the cross, he fixes his hair, touches his socks, and takes a deep breath before shooting.

Vince Hizon – Before shooting the free throw, it looks like he is sitting down at the free throw line before going up to take the shot. That’s how low he bends before the follow through.

The imports

Lamont Strothers – The long-time San Miguel import spins the ball on his left hand then takes two dribbles of his right hand before releasing the ball.

Dexter Shouse – Playing for Purefoods and Shell in the late 1980s, the import who is known for abandoning both franchises in-season would always raise his shorts before taking a foul attempt.

Freeman Williams – This Tanduay import during the late 80s takes his charity shots at the extreme right part of the line. It seems to work for he has a high free throw percentage.

Terrance Bailey – The Great Taste/Presto import would dribble the ball ten times before he shoots. What’s funny is that the crowd knows this and they count his dribbles aloud.

Larry Pounds – If Bailey takes ten dribbles, this Royal Tru Orange import during the PBA’s infancy makes one dribble then looks up. He takes another dribble then looks up again. He would bounce the ball a third time before shooting the foul shot. The crowd counts with every dribble as well.

Lenny Cooke – Once touted as a better prospect than Lebron James, Cooke eventually brought his talents to the PBA. His free throw ritual is particularly memorable for he kisses the image of Jesus Christ on his upper right arm.

Gee Gervin – The son of George “Iceman” Gervin has a particularly cool way of shooting his throws. He lines up to the left of the hoop before taking a dribble while also doing a shimmy. He would clutch the ball with the right hand underneath before doing another dribble with the shimmy again. After the second sequence, he takes the shot.

Sean Chambers – The veteran Alaska import seems to be shaking his shoulders first before receiving the ball. Once he does, he pumps first before taking a dribble and place the ball below his eyes first in a low stance prior to taking the shot.

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