Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

Gilas Pilipinas within the nineteenth Asian Video games in Hangzhou, China. –POOL PHOTO

Because the Philippines watched its sizeable lead get shredded by Iran’s younger weapons, Gilas Pilipinas turned to its poise, and—to no person’s shock—its indefatigable ace to keep away from what would’ve been an unforgivable collapse within the nineteenth Asian Video games males’s basketball match.

The ever-reliable Justin Brownlee hit a troublesome floater with 44 ticks remaining to cap a sensational outing and tow the Nationals previous the Iranians, 84-83, for a spot within the continental meet’s Last 4—their first in over twenty years.

With that, the Filipinos will thus take a successful feeling going right into a semifinal conflict with an previous regional tormentor that’s out for redemption, and coach Tim Cone is aware of that they can’t play the identical approach after they battle China for a spot within the gold medal match.

“We’re gonna stroll out of this sport with a bit bitter style in our mouths [after] blowing a 20-point lead,” Cone mentioned in an interview with One Sports activities. “However the backside line was we discovered a strategy to win down the stretch.”

Having a fourth quarter sputter like that, nevertheless, gained’t reduce it on Wednesday evening, when the Philippines battles a China facet that it bamboozled within the Fiba (Worldwide Basketball Federation) World Cup final month in Manila.

World Cup crew

Gilas Pilipinas coach Tim Cone. –ASIAN GAMES POOL

Staff Dragon will function 9 gamers from that squad, keen to provide the house crowd a present at 8 p.m. at Hangzhou Olympic Centre Gymnasium, the place the Chinese language have been good with 4 straight video games, together with an 84-70 conquest of South Korea of their facet of the quarterfinals.

They’ve been taking pictures with lethal effectivity with a 50.6 % clip from the sphere for a mean of 89.3 factors— each the best for any crew within the Asian Video games.

The Chinese language are additionally recognized to maximise the whole lot at their disposal as hosts, and Brownlee, after ending with 36 factors in opposition to the Iranians, mentioned they are going to be prepared.

“Man, it’s gonna be one other powerful, hard-fought sport,” Brownlee mentioned. “We’re prepared. I’m positive they’ll be prepared. [They’re] internet hosting the Asian Video games this 12 months and so they’re doing an unimaginable job so we all know their followers are gonna come out and present nice help.”

If in any respect, successful within the method they did in opposition to the Iranians offers the Filipinos the arrogance enhance they want.

“By no means say die. We simply wished to maintain combating. Within the Philippines, that ‘NSD’ spirit means lots, so we simply wished to maintain exhibiting that spirit though we had been drained, we had been down,” Brownlee went on. “We simply wished to proceed combating.”

Six-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo added 18 that went with eight rebounds to assist the Philippine trigger in opposition to Iran, whereas Scottie Thompson chipped in 11 factors and 6 boards for the unexpectedly assembled Gilas squad that hopes to ship the nation’s first Asian Video games medal since Jong Uichico and his pro-laden crew did it again in 2002.

Massive lead blown

Gilas loved leads as large as 21 factors within the first three quarters, however the dominant kind that manufactured that edge was nowhere to be discovered within the payoff body as Matin Aghajanpour and Mohammad Vahedi joined fingers in a cutthroat fightback that had Iran taking an 81-80 lead coming into the ultimate minute.

“They type of struggled early, however you possibly can simply see how good a crew they’re in that fourth quarter and the way well-coached they’re to only stick with it though they [were] down large and simply coming again and giving us a hard-fought sport till the top,” Brownlee defined.

“They shot the lights out within the fourth quarter, we didn’t count on that,” Cone mentioned. “[And] after they received momentum, we made lots of turnovers.”

Cone had mentioned someday after a lopsided loss to Jordan {that a} 30-point loss is similar as a one-point defeat.

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Profitable in no matter approach is similar, and that’s clearly their mindset going into the China match.

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