Tim Cone proud of Japeth Aguilar, impressed with Terrence Romeo in Gilas’ thrilling win over China

Photo from FIBA.com

Gilas Pilipinas’ unexpected win over defending champion China to open the country’s campaign in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup resulted in a fit of ecstasy as Pinoys once again took to social media to celebrate the rare victory over the Asian powerhouse.

The thrilling win didn’t escape the PBA’s winningest coach, Brgy. Ginebra’s Tim Cone, as the former national team mentor immediately heaped praises on Gilas after defeating the perennial champions.

Cone tweeted “Awesome”, then followed it up with “Who’s next??? Bring ’em on!! Gilas is ready for anyone!”.

The 54-year old American has in his impressive resume’ the distinction of leading ragtag Philippine team to the bronze medal in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok.

With the win, Gilas Pilipinas has somehow avenged the painful defeat at the hands of a Chinese team during the 2015 edition of same tournament.

Cone also took particular notice of the exceptional performances of Japeth Aguilar and Terrence Romeo as well as the ‘brilliant’ coaching of Chot Reyes.

Japeth contributed 7 points, 3 rebounds and 5 blocks in 25 minutes of play. The high-leaping, 30-year old native of Sasmuan, Pampanga served as Gilas’ anchor on the defensive end.

Terrence on the other hand finished with a game-high 26 points, including 8 of the team’s final 12 points. The GlobalPort ace guard tied the game with a triple after the Chinese took a three-point lead, 84-87 with just under 4 minutes to go in the payoff period. Romeo then followed it up with a top-of-the key jumper to give Gilas back the lead, 89-87 time down to less than 3 minutes. And finally, just before the last 2 minute mark of the game, Romeo buried a dagger three to give Gilas some breathing space, 92-87 against the dangerous Chinese squad.

Watch: Terrence Romeo ties the game, gives Gilas the lead, buries the dagger three!

Christian Standhardinger and Matthew Wright then finished off the job with key baskets to cap off a decisive 12-0 run by the Philippine team to close out the game.

Gilas takes on Iraq next in a battle of unbeaten teams in Group B. – Victor Adea