Gilas Pilipinas def. China, 77-76 (VIDEO) 2023 Asian Games | October 4 | Semifinals

Photo credit: PILIPINAS LIVE | Hangzhou Asian Games

Gilas Pilipinas Men dethroned the defending champions China, 77-76, in the semifinals of the 2023 Asian Games Men's Basketball 5x5 event on Wednesday, October 4, at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium. [VIDEO]

Justin Brownlee once again led the Philippines' never-say-die spirit, finishing with 33 points (12/21FG, 5/9 2pts, 7/12 3pts, 2/4ft), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal, including the clutch back-to-back threes.

This victory marks a historic moment as the Philippines reaches the Asian Games men's basketball finals for the first time in 33 years, dating back to 1990.

Scottie Thompson had another solid performance of 13 points (6/9FG), along with 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals while CJ Perez added 8 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and a block. June Mar Fajardo finished with 8 points on 3-of-6 shooting, to go with 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Kevin Alas makes his quality minutes as he racks up 5 straight clutch points in the final frame.

Down 15-4 in the middle of the first frame, Gilas used a 11-0 run to tie the game at 15-all, cutting the deficit to 2 at the end of the first quarter. However, the hosts, China, had a strong 29-13 run in the second quarter, ending the half with a huge 48-30 lead against the Philippines, with the biggest lead by China being 20 points. Gilas came alive in the second half, outscoring the defending champions 20-14 in the third quarter. Gilas was trailing 67-76 with only 3 minutes left in the game but managed to stage an impressive 10-0 run to secure the win. The Philippines outscored the hosts 27-14 in the fourth quarter.

Gilas shot 46% from the field (31/67fg), including 8-of-20 shooting from beyond the arc. China had 27 out of 59 field goals and made 8 out of 27 attempts from three-point range. Gilas went 7 out of 14 from the free-throw line, while China made 14 out of 21 free throws. The Philippines outrebounded China, 44-36; however, Gilas had more turnovers (15-13), while China recorded more assists (17-14) and steals (9-7).

"It was quite a miraculous win for us. We didn't look like we have any chance whatsoever, but I'm really proud of our players for continuing to battle and continuing to fight and find a way to comeback in. Of course, we couldn't have done it without Justin doing the thing he does." coach Tim Cone said in a post-game interview by

Gilas Pilipinas advances to the gold medal match against the undefeated Jordan on Friday, October 6, at 8:00PM in a rematch [LIVE]. Jordan had previously defeated Gilas 87-62 during the preliminary round, marking Gilas's lone defeat in the tournament. .

The scores:

PHILIPPINES 77 - Brownlee 33, Thompson 13, Fajardo 8, Perez 8, Alas 5, Newsome 4, Oftana 4, Kouame 2, Ross 0, Lassiter 0, Aguilar 0, Tolentino DNP.

CHINA 76 - R Zhao 18, Hu 10, Zhu 10, Wang 10, Hu 10, J Zhao 9, Du 6, Zhang 4, Cui 1, Cheng 9, Fu DNP, Yu DNP.

Quarters: 17-19, 30-48, 50-62, 77-76. [VIDEO] | [STATS]

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