Gilas Pilipinas came out victorious Monday after it defeated champion Iran, 87-73, at the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship in Changsha, China.
It was a huge victory for Gilas as the tournament rounding up the second phase of the 2016 Rio Olympics qualifying.
Iran had a good start, leading after the first quarter and at the halftime break. However, Gilas Pilipinas took the lead in the third, CNN Philippines reported.
Terrence Romeo directed an eight-point run that gave Gilas the 60-57 advantage with only 2:30 remaining in the third quarter. Gilas dominated the board in the fourth quarter.
Jayson Castro led the Philippine basketball team with 26 points, 3 steals, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds. According to the official site of FIBA, this put Castro among Asia’s top overall players.
Andray finished with 18 points. Romeo and Calvin Abueva contributed a combined score of 28 points.
FIBA.com said this is the first time in recent memory that the Philippine team defeated Iran in a FIBA Asia Championship game.
View game highlights below.
Gilas Pilipinas will face a tall Indian line up today (Sept. 29) at 2:30 pm (PH Time). Watch live stream of Gilas vs India here.
The Philippines and Indian basketball teams last met in the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup where the Filipinos won by just four points, 70-66, Rappler noted.
India currently has 2-2 record in the second round. Check out the complete team standing here.
The victory against Iran gave Gilas a clear shot at finishing at the top of Group E, but they still have to win against India today, Fiba.com commented.
Iran, on the other hand, is now in a must-win situation against Palestine. If they lose, Iran may finish as the third place team heading to the next round.
The top 4 teams from Group E and F in the second round will advance to the knockout quarterfinals.
The winner of the 2015 FIBA Asian Championship will secure a spot to represent Asia in the Olympics in Rio next year.