Gilas Pilipinas def. China, 96-75 (VIDEO) September 2 | FIBA World Cup 2023 Classification Round

Photo credit: FIBA |

World No. 40 Gilas Pilipinas Men (1-4) defeated the world No. 27 China (1-4), 96-75 in their last classification game of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup on Saturday, September 2, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. [VIDEO].

Gilas has shattered its nine-game losing streak in FIBA World Cup matches, dating all the way back to 2019, and with their last victory recorded in 2014. Gilas Pilipinas has indeed ended the drought by defeating China with an impressive score of 96-75, concluding its World Cup campaign on a resounding high note.

Gilas Pilipinas ended up 24th in the standings and earned a spot in the 2024 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (FIBA OQT) next year.

After trailing by just one point at halftime, 39-40, Gilas Pilipinas unleashed a dominant 34-11 third-quarter run, finishing the frame with a commanding 73-51 lead.

Jordan Clarkson displayed his scoring excellence, topping all scorers with a remarkable 34 points. He shot 11-of-18 from the field, including 5-of-10 from beyond the arc, and 7-of-9 from the free-throw line along with 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal in 33 minutes of play. Rhenz Abando, known for his strong contributions on both offense and defense, achieved his World Cup-high by scoring an impressive 14 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and a block in 24 minutes. Kai Sotto had a solid performance with 12 points (5/9FG, 0/2 3pts, 2/3ft), 6 rebounds, and 1 assist.

On his 25th birthday, Dwight Ramos delivered a solid performance, contributing 11 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and a block. June Mar Fajardo with 9 points on 4-of-6 shooting to go with 4 rebounds and a steal while RR Pogoy added 7 points, 1 assist and a steal.

The collective team effort of Gilas was on full display, showcasing their remarkable cohesion and determination in the game, along with a strong willingness to salvage a victory as one of the World Cup hosts. Gilas shot 49% from the field (35/72fg), including 9-of-30 shooting from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, China had 26 out of 62 field goals and made 5 out of 22 attempts from three-point range. Gilas went 17 out of 22 from the free-throw line, while the Chinese made 18 out of 20 free throws. PHL outrebounded China, 46-31 led by AJ Edu with 10 rebounds.

According to a report from philstar, Chot Reyes has announced his decision to "step aside" as the head coach of the Philippine men's basketball team. He expressed this choice following Gilas' disappointing performance in the FIBA World Cup, particularly given the home court advantage, stating, "it may be time for somebody else."

"I signed up to do a job, and we did not deliver the result. So, I think it is time to step aside and allow the SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas) to make a decision for the good of the program," he added.

Gilas Pilipinas, led by naturalized Filipino Justin Brownlee, will return to the international stage as they compete in the 19th edition of the Asian Games, which will take place in Hangzhou, China, participating in the 16-team men's basketball event that will run from September 26 (Group Phase) to October 6, 2023 (Medal Round). The complete lineup and coaching staff will be announce soon. [GILAS SCHEDULE].

The scores:

PHILIPPINES 96 - Clarkson 34, Abando 14, Sotto 12, Ramos 11, Fajardo 9, Pogoy 7, Edu 5, Thompson 4, Aguilar 0, Ravena 0, Perez DNP, Malonzo DNP.

CHINA 75 - Li 17, Zhang 13, M Hu 12, R Zhao 12, Zhao 12 J Hu 10, Zhu 5, Cui 2, Fu 2, Q Zhou 2, P ZHou DNP, Wang DNP.

Quarters: 16-16, 39-40, 73-51, 96-75. [GAME HIGHLIGHTS] | [GAME STATS]

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