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Gilas Pilipinas def China, 96-75 [2023 FIBA World Cup | Sep. 2, 2023]

Out of the race for the ultimate prize and out of the rumble for a Paris trip, Gilas Pilipinas is still pushing on, setting out for the last time for the elusive breakthrough win versus old Asian rival China on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Beaten by the Dominican Republic, Angola, Italy and South Sudan, the Nationals seek to end their agony and soothe bruised pride as they battle the Chinese in their last outing in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

Tip-off is at 8 p.m. in a duel between old foes who possess the most number of trophy collections in regional wars and richest Asian history in the World Cup.

For the Chinese, it’s still an important match as they’re still pursuing Asian top honors and a slot to the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

For the Filipinos, it’s a chance to heal battered honor following a 0-3 showing in the first round and the defeat to the South Sudanese at the start of the classification phase Thursday.

The Nationals are down but are not quitting.

The target is a morale win not just for themselves but for the nation.

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