Gilas Defeated China Enters Asian Games Gold Medal Match:
The Philippine national men’s basketball team, Gilas, defeated China after they completed a comeback behind Justin Brownlee’s heroics in the fourth quarter as the Philippines entered the gold medal match against Jordan in the Asian Games basketball competition.
Gilas defeated China in a thrilling 77-76 victory against the host team in front of the home crowd supporting China in their semis game against the Filipinos.
Justin Brownlee was the man of the hour for the Gilas Pilipinas squad, hitting back-to-back three-pointers that put the Philippines in the final 10 seconds and silenced the crowd at the Hangzhou Olympic Centre in Hangzhou, China.
The former import and the beloved naturalized Filipino player, Justin Brownlee, finished with a game-high 33 points on 7-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc in the victory that put the Philippines in the Asian Games final for the first time since the 1990 team in Beijing, China.
Gilas Pilipinas’ victory against China, a back-to-back one after they defeated the Chinese squad in the Philippines during the FIBA World Cup, will play another formidable foe headed by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, the Jordanian team in the gold medal match set this coming Friday, October 6, 2023.
Gilas defeated China in a very thrilling moment for the Filipinos watching live online after being down by as much as 20 points in the second half, 46-26, following a split from the free throw line by China’s Jinqiu Hu, the Nationals cut the lead to four, 71-67, with 4:34 remaining in the game in the game after an impressive point from Kevin Alas.
China then scored five straight points following a 3-pointer by Runwang Du and a 2-pointer by Hu to take a 76-67 upper hand with 3:07 remaining. Gilas mainstay CJ Perez‘s two-point production, followed by a floater by Justin Brownlee, cut China’s lead anew to five, 76-71, with 1:31 left in the game.
Justin Brownlee’s star shined as he hit jaw-dropping back-to-back treys despite being present all the time on the floor. Aside from the 33-point production from Brownlee, he also added five rebounds and dished out four assists.
China’s Rui Zhao led China with 18 points and six assists for the Chinese squad, who will now face Chinese Taipei in the bronze medal match in the 19th Asian Games.
With the victory of the Philippines, the Gilas squad has unseated China, which dominated Asian basketball for quite a while. Gilas’ victory against China was also memorable because, during the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing, the Philippines lost the gold medal against the home team.
The guaranteed silver medal finish for the Philippines in this year’s Asian Games competition is a first for the country since 1998, when the Filipino basketball players brought home the bronze medal, and interestingly, it was also coached by the Gilas tactician, Coach Tim Cone.
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