The Philippine National Men’s Baksetball team is closing in on a slot for the 2019 FIBA World Cup that will happen in China after beating Japan in a score of 89-84
During the game on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City, Gilas Pilipinas was led by naturalized player Andray Blatche who contributed 18 points and 16 rebounds.
Makoto Hiejima scored 23 points for the Akatsuki Five, but his team remains winless in the qualifiers for the upcoming Basketball World Cup.
The weariness of Gilas due to their recent loss in Australia showed during their game against Japan after trailing by 16 points, 4-20, in the first quarter.
However, the Philippine team recovered in the second quarter and was leading by five points, 46-41, before the start of the third period.
The Japanese team was able to get the score close to 86-84 in the last 30 seconds of the game but a successful 2-point shot Jayson Castro and a free throw from Blatche ensured the victory of the Philippine team.
Currently, Gilas has three wins and one loss and places second in the Group B of the 1st round of the Asian qualifiers for the FIBA World Cup.
The next game of Gilas is against Chinese Taipei on June 29, and will be followed by a rematch against Australia on June 29.