Hontiveros saves the day for the Philippines.
Gilas Pilipinas will now have to face host country China in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship after beating Japan in their semi-finals game Friday October 2, 2015.
The Philippine Basketball Team Gilas Pilipinas was successful in entering the finals of FIBA Asia 2015 Championship after bowing down Japan 81-70. PBA veteran Dondon Hontiveros was the day’s hero for Gilas as he was instrumental in the 4th quarter run of the team. Hontiveros’ triple 3-pointers in the fourth enabled Gilas to pull away and secure the semi-finals win and a ticket to the finals.
After winning big time against India and Lebanon, Gilas Pilipinas’ semi-finals game against Japan kept everyone holding their breathes. The game started so close up to the early minutes of the fourth quarter.
Japan ended the first quarter with 1 point lead 17-16. The 2nd quarter was no difference with the two teams exchanging leads. While Gilas slight edges Japan in the 2nd quarter scoring at 23-22, the 1st half ended with in a tie at 39-39.
While Gilas was able to had a good run in the 3rd quarter leading Japan with as much as 8 points, it didn’t last long as Japan was able to pull out an 8-0 run to tie the game again 54-all. It was in the 4th quarter that the Gilas really fired-up courtesy of Dondon Hontiveros good 3-point shooting with the help of Jason Castro and Ranidel de Ocampo. Although Japan tried to catch-up they weren’t able to overtake the determined Gilas who ended up winning the game with 9-point lead 81-70.
Gilas was lead by Andray Blatched who scored 22 points and 13 rebounds followed by Jason Williams who contributed 20 points, 2 rebounds and 7 assists. Meanwhile the day’s hero Hontiveros shared 18 points (all from 3-pointers) and 1 rebound.
Gilas’ next assignment will be the host country China in the gold medal match Saturday evening, October 3, 2015. Should Gilas wins against China in the finals tomorrow, the country will be finally be back at the olympics after 43 years. Philippine Basketball team’s last outing at the olympics was in 1972 in Munich Germany.