The Philippines started their 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup campaign with a rousing 77-71 victory over the Japanese squad on Friday in Tokyo.
With Japan threatening a comeback late in the 4th quarter, Castro took control of the game. After Japanese point guard Yuki Tagoshi nailed his 2nd three point in the dying minutes to inch Japan within striking distance 72-69, Castro asked for an isolation and nailed a huge three to increase the lead to 6 points.
RR Pogoy then sealed the win for Gilas via a transition layup with only 27 seconds left in the contest.
Jayson Castro-William scored 20 points to lead the Philippine team in scoring who also tallied 7 rebounds, 6 assists and a steal while naturalized player Andray Blatche chip in with 13 points, 12 rebounds,5 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks on his Gilas return.
Shooter Matthew Wright made his presence felt with 12 markers while veteran Gabe Norwood chipped in 10 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals.
Gilas Pilipinas will now fly home to face Chinese Taipei on Monday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.