A Heart-Stopping Finale: Gilas Pilipinas Concludes FIBA Journey With a Thrilling Victory

A Heart-Stopping Finale: Gilas Pilipinas Concludes FIBA Journey With a Thrilling Victory

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With a breakthrough victory in their final game, Gilas Pilipinas caps off their impressive FIBA World Cup run

Showcasing their unwavering skill and determination, Gilas Pilipinas delivered a resounding victory in their final match of the FIBA World Cup with an impressive score of 96-75. In an intense showdown against China at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on September 2, the Philippine basketball team delivered a performance that left everyone on the edge of their seats. Here’s a breakdown of the best moments and highlights of this unforgettable game: 

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A monumental victory

To begin, this triumph marks the first time a Philippine team has emerged victorious against China at the senior level since the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup. It was also the first time the Philippines had ever won a World Cup game on home court, following its performance in 1978 when it hosted the tournament. Because of this accomplishment, Gilas Pilipinas also ended the season in a better position in the standings. They have improved from their previous World Cup position of 32nd to finish in the top 24 this time around.

Clarkson on fire

Gilas Pilipinas Jordan Clarkson
Photo: FIBA (via Instagram)

Undoubtedly stealing the spotlight, Jordan Clarkson unleashed a blazing performance during the third quarter, solidifying the team’s triumphant victory. Clarkson finished with a stellar tally of 34 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal, further solidifying his status as a force to be reckoned with on the court. He also came close to breaking the FIBA World Cup 2023 scoring record, falling just six points short.

From teamwork to triumph

Just as the group has consistently demonstrated from the get-go, the camaraderie among the team was apparent during their most recent match. Rhenz Abando contributed an impressive 14 points to the scoreboard. Not to be outdone, Dwight Ramos showcased his own prowess, adding 11 points to the team’s total. Kai Sotto also contributed 14 points and six rebounds to his team’s victory. June Mar Fajardo displayed his skills with nine points, while Roger Pogoy and AJ Edu added seven and five points, respectively. This effort not only secured a win for their team but also highlighted their resilience in the absence of Jamie Malonzo, who unfortunately had to sit out the game due to a back injury sustained in the previous loss to South Sudan. Despite this setback, the team’s presence remained formidable, proving their strength on the court.

Video: CHRIS NEWSOME (via Instagram)

Scoring success

Gilas Pilipinas Kai Sotto
Photo: B.LEAGUE (via Instagram)

Through this win, Gilas has secured a higher overall placement, propelling them to qualify for the highly anticipated 2024 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Paris. In the current standings, the Philippines holds the position of being the third-best Asian team, trailing behind the teams of Japan and Lebanon.

Featured Image: DONTHYPEME (via Instagram)

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