Philippines is advancing to the semifinals!
After earning the title of “top-seed” team of group E, the overpowering Gilas Philipnas plowed through the quarterfinals, beating Lebanon with a 12-point lead.
Photo from: gmanetwork.com
The heat was on for the Philippine team right from the tip-off, with the Jayson Castro-Andray Blatche tandem shooting early hoops to set up a solid gap.
But the Lebanese team didn’t go down easy. Despite the early aggressive play of Gilas, Lebanon kept the powehouse team on their defensive toes as they moved to close the gap.
By half time, the gap was cut to five points, 37-32, with Gilas still in control.
The third quarter was the turning point of the match for Gilas. After another wave of points by Castro, Gilas was leading double-digits, 46-34, with four minutes left in the third quarter. The Lebanese team tried to fight back, but the quarter ended at 57-49 in favor of Gilas.
Lebanon tried to get back at the final quarter, hitting late game three-pointers and trying their best for a last-minute overtake. But an aggressive Gilas didn’t give them the chance to grab the lead, and pushed them back to seal another win.
The Castro-Blatche tandem has once again displayed their dominating skill in the hardwood, racking a total of 49 points (25 for Castro, and 24 for Blatche) for the team.
This is the sixth straight win for Gilas. Next, They’ll face against Japan for the semifinals for a ticket to FIBA World Olympics in Rio next year.
Do you think Gilas can continue their winning streak and head to Rio next year? Comment us your thoughts below!