Gilas Pilipinas defeats Japan, moves into finals versus China

Photo Credit: FIBA Asia
  • Another victory for Gilas Pilipinas
  • The Filipino squad overpowered Japan with 11 points
  • They will face China in the finals

Gilas Pilipinas continues to advance in its 2015 FIBA Asia Championship as it defeated Japan, 81-70, in the semifinals on Friday, October 2, at the Changsha Social Work College Gymnasium in Changsha, China.

Coach Tab Baldwin said in a previous interview he hates playing a team three times.

In an article shared by Philippine Daily Inquirerthe American-Kiwi coach told reporters: “I hate playing a team three times. I almost hate trying to beat them three times. We don’t have any choice now, they’re our opponents. In some ways, I think there are positives when you beat a team two times, perhaps they think maybe we got their number.”

However, he added that the reality is that the third time gets really tough, because you deal with complacency within your own team.

“It’s a human instinct, a basic characteristic,” he added.

At the beginning of the game, the Filipino team started on the wrong foot and the Japan squad managed to stay within striking distance. But Gilas Pilipinas gained advantage in the final quarter and proved they didn’t become complacent despite defeating Japan a number of times. The recent one was last September when they prevailed over the Japan squad in the William Jones Cup Invitational in Taiwan.

An article shared by Smart Gilas Basketball on October 2 disclosed that naturalized center Andray Blatche showed another solid performance as he led Gilas Pilipinas to victory with 22 points and 13 rebounds, while Jayson Castro, the highest scorer in their quarterfinals playoff against Lebanon, chipped in 20 points.

The scores of Gilas Pilipinas players are as follows:

  • Andray Blatche 22
  • Jayson Castro 20
  • Dondon Hontiveros 18
  • Ranidel de Ocampo 8
  • Calvin Abueva 6
  • Terrence Romeo 3
  • Gabriel Norwood 2
  • Marc Pingris 2
  • Ranidel de Ocampo 3

Gilas Pilipinas is one win away from their Olympic dream as they booked a spot into the finals. They will face China on Saturday, October 3.