MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas put on an electric performance in a thrilling match at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to defeat China, their longtime rivals in the area, 96-75, and advance to the FIBA World Cup in 2023.
The Filipino team showed incredible tenacity and pride as they sought to end their World Cup campaign on a high note, despite it seemed like their ticket to the Paris Olympics was out of reach. With a strong start, the home team immediately built a 7-2 advantage thanks to Jordan Clarkson’s outstanding play.
Zhang led China’s offensive push as they quickly reacted, equally motivated to seize victory. His incredible dunk, made possible by a feed from Kaier Li, reduced the deficit to just one point.
With seven straight points to give China a 14-10 lead, Zhang continued to dominate in the second quarter’s exciting contest. At the end of the first quarter, Jordan Clarkson, displaying his skill, managed to tie the game at 14-14 by making both of his free throw attempts.
The Philippines kept up their intensity throughout the match, continually outscoring their opponents. They led 37-33 at the break, but China remained a tough opponent and wouldn’t give up a sizable lead.
China momentarily took the lead as the third quarter continued with the back-and-forth conflict. Ramos sank two vital free shots, and the tenacious Filipino team, headed by him, rallied back hard to tie the game at 44-44.
Gilas Pilipinas kicked into high speed as the fourth quarter began, building a 24-point lead that allowed them to insert new players into the contest. Abando and Edu demonstrated their abilities, helping to establish the decisive lead. The Philippines won the match handily, 96-75, to bring it to a close.
While Gilas Pilipinas’ victory might not guarantee them an Olympic spot, it might give them an invitation to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, keeping their aspirations for a coveted spot in the Paris Olympics alive.
This outstanding triumph demonstrates Gilas Pilipinas’ tenacity and will, as well as their undying dedication to representing the Philippines on the world basketball stage.
Scores at the end of the match:
Philippines with 96 points for the win
- Individual points: Clarkson 34, Abando 14, Sotto 12, Ramos 11, Fajardo 9, Pogoy 7, Edu 5, Thompson 4, Ravena 0, Aguilar 0.
China with 75 points
- Individual points: Li 17, Zhang 13, M. Hu 12, R. Zhao 12, J. Hu 10, Zhu 5, Cui 2, Fu 2, Zhou 2, J. Zhao 0.
Scores per quarter
- 16-16, 39-40, 73-51, 96-75