Saturday, August 10, 2013
Gilas Pilipinas in the Finals after beating South Korea 86-76
MANILA, Philippines — Smart Gilas Pilipinas beat South Korea 86-76 and will now face Iran for the 27th FIBA Asia Men’s Championships finals.
Gilas Pilipinas defeated South Korea, 86-79, on Saturday, to earn the right to play Iran in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship Finals, at the Mall of Asia Arena. With the win, the Philippines also earned a berth in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.
"To all the haters and the skeptics, I forgive you," said a triumphant Gilas head coach Chot Reyes. "God bless you and mabuhay ang Pilipinas."
The Koreans brought the lead down to a single point at 4:40 as Kim Mingoo completed a four-point play. It was quickly followed by a Lee Seung Jun dunk at the 4:18 mark to give Korea a 74-73 lead. He added a free throw to install a two-point lead.
With the Koreans threatening anew to break their hearts, Alapag seized the moment to return the favor. Alapag gave Gilas back the lead with a triple with 3:01 left in the game, but Kim Tae-Sool quickly stole it back with a jumper to settle the score at 77-76 in favor of Korea..
De Ocampo stepped up to score a layup to continue the see-saw battle between the two fierce rivals. With the seconds dwindling down, Pingris stole the ball, which led to a De Ocampo triple for an 81-77 Gilas lead.
After Yang Donggeun rolled in his free throws to cut Gilas’ lead down to two, 81-79, Alapag answered with a booming three-pointer in the final 54 seconds to make it 84-79 and killed any hopes of another Korean comeback.
"Words can’t describe how we’re feeling right now,” Alapag said after punching a ticket to the FIBA World Cup in Spain next year with an 86-79 win over Korea that pushed Gilas Pilipinas to a finals showdown with two-time champion Iran Sunday night.
The 5-foot-9 Alapag, who was hailed as Asia’s best point guard by Lebanon’s Fadi El Khatib during his first tour of duty with the national team, hit four triples – the last, perhaps, the biggest in his entire basketball career.
Philippines 86 - Castro 17, Pingris 16, Alapag 14, De Ocampo 11, Tenorio 9, Aguilar 8, Chan 5, Norwood 2, Douthit 2, Fonacier 2, David 0
Korea 79 - M. Kim 27, D. Yang 11, Joo-sung Kim 11, S. Lee 10, J. Lee 10, Cho 6, S. Kim 2, T. Kim 2, Yoon 0, Kim Jongkyu 0