Gilas Pilipinas achieved a rare accomplishment of multi-sweeps following an 82-77 victory over South Korea at the close of the FIBA Asia bubble play at the AUF Gym in Angeles, Pampanga Sunday.
Coach Tab Baldwin’s youth brigade, including a number of PBA Gilas special draft selections, stood their ground one more time against the touted Koreans, scoring a twin-kill that completed their three-game sweep in the FIBA Clark bubble and a perfect 6-0 ride in the Continental qualifiers Pool A play.
Thus, Team Phl will be posted as among the top seeds in pool play in the FIBA Asia Cup proper in August in Indonesia.
Though both assured of a trip to Indonesia before the match, the Filipinos and the Koreans engaged in a fierce battle as expected, with the home team pulling through on clutch plays by Justine Baltazar, SJ Belangel and Dwight Ramos.
Ramos topscored with 19 points, including a big trey and two charities down the stretch as the Nationals repeated their 81-78 win in their previous tiff against the Koreans Wednesday.
Previous to that, Gilas had dropped its last five matches versus its bitter rival in the region.
Kai Sotto, RJ Abarrientos and Jordan Heading contributed 10 points each as the Nationals bucked Ra Guna’s hulking performance with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
Philippines 82 – Ramos 19, Sotto 10, Heading 10, Abarrientos 10, Navarro 8, Kouame 7, Baltazar 6, Belangel 6, Nieto 3, Go 3, Chiu 0.
South Korea 77 – Ra 20, Lee HJ 13, Yang 12, Lee DS 9, Lee SH 8, Kim 8, Jeon 3, Byeon 2, Yeo 2, Ha 0.
Quarterscores: 18-20, 38-34, 56-54, 82-77.