Gilas Pilipinas wins Asian Games gold after 61 years

Philippine Tribune
Philippine Tribune



For the first time since 1962, the Philippines will take home a gold medal in men’s basketball from the Asian Games as Gilas Pilipinas exacted revenge on Jordan, 70-60, to reign supreme on Friday in Hangzhou, China.

Justin Brownlee led Gilas with 20 points along with 10 rebounds and five assists while Ange Kouame added 14 markers and 11 boards in a strong effort.

Chris Newsome and Scottie Thompson added 13 and 11 points, respectively, for the Philippines.

Gilas got off to a strong start, taking leads of as high as 13 points in the second quarter. But Jordan closed the half on a 16-3 run to knot things up at 31-all.

Gilas broke the halftime deadlock after knocking down three key triples to outscore Jordan in the third quarter, 20-10, and slowly create a gap with a 51-41 lead before the fourth.

Jordan’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson trimmed that down to seven before back-to-back baskets from Kouame and Thompson sent Gilas back up by 10, 60-50.

Kouame also came up with a big putback off a miss from Newsome, 64-55, with 1:44 left as Gilas held off Jordan in the endgame.

The last time the national team won a gold medal in the Asian Games was in 1962, when it defeated China to cop its fourth straight crown in the continental tournament.

It was also the first time that the Philippines reached the gold medal match since winning the silver medal in 1990, and the country’s first semifinal appearance since its fourth place finish in the 2002 edition in Busan, South Korea.

Read more | Gilas Pilipinas overcomes China, returns to Asian Games finals after 33 years

This Gilas team had several huge moments in the competition, including an epic comeback win in the semis versus China, 77-76, and a 1-point escape of Iran, 84-83, in the quarterfinals.

The win also served as some payback for the Philippines’ only loss in the tournament, an 87-62 defeat at the hands of this same Jordan team in the group stage of the competition.

This is the country’s fourth overall gold in the Asian Games after pole vaulter EJ Obiena and jiu jitsu stars Meggie Ochoa and Annie Ramirez.

The scores:

Gilas 70 – Brownlee 20, Kouame 14, Newsome 13, Thompson 11, Oftana 5, Aguilar 3, Alas 2, Perez 2.

Jordan 60 – Hollis-Jefferson 24, Ibrahim 13, Al Dwairi 8, Alhamarsheh 6, Bohannon 4, Bzai 3, Hussein 2.

Quarters: 17-12, 31-31, 51-41, 70-60.

Gilas Pilipinas results, 19th Asian Games

Gold medal game: Philippines 70-60 Jordan

Semifinals: Philippines 77-76 China

Quarterfinals: Philippines 84-83 Iran

Qualification game: Philippines 80-41 Qatar

Group stage: Philippines 62-87 Jordan

Group stage: Philippines 87-72 Thailand

Group stage: Philippines 89-61 Bahrain

—Bea Micaller/JKC, GMA Integrated News

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