Gilas Pilipinas Men caught fire from downtown to repeat against Korea, 82-77, and remain undefeated in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers at the AUF Gym in Angeles, Pampanga.
With the win, the Philippines completed a 6-0 sweep and clinched the top spot of Group A, while Korea came in second with a 4-2 record. Both teams have qualified for the FIBA Asia Cup that will take place on August 16-28 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“I’m obviously overjoyed to take three wins in this window,” said Gilas head coach Tab Baldwin. “I think that’s a great credit to this basketball team and these young players.”
Dwight Ramos led the charge with 19 points including five 3-pointers, to go with five assists, three rebounds, and two steals. Kai Sotto delivered 10 points and seven boards, while Jordan Heading and RJ Abarrientos also added 10 points each.
The Philippines waxed hot from beyond the arc, knocking down 14 of their 37 attempts. Korea, on the other hand, only shot 10-for-35 from downtown.
It was another close fight between the two teams but clutch free throws from Ramos and a breakaway dunk from Justine Baltazar in the final seconds sealed the game for Gilas.
Former PBA import Ra Guna, also known as Ricardo Ratliffe, was at the forefront of Korea’s attack, finishing with a double-double of 20 points and 13 rebounds.
Gilas Pilipinas now shifts its focus onto the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament from June 29 to July 4 in Belgrade, Serbia.