Gilas Pilipinas finally scored a win in the 2019 Fiba under 19 Basketball World Cup, stunning 14th-ranked China, 86-72, in the classification stage Saturday at Heraklion University Hall in Greece.
Gilas Youth, the world no. 30, can still finish as high as 13 in the tournament after snapping their five-game losing skid with a game left.
The Philippines was neck and neck with the Chinese in the first half, holding a slim 41-37 lead heading into the break until the Filipinos fired back against mighty China in the third quarter.
Dave Ildefonso capped off the Filipinos’ 7-0 run at the start of the penultimate quarter as Gilas Youth took a 50-39 lead at the 7:26 mark of the period.
The Chinese managed to close the distance and trim the Philippines’ lead to just two, 57-55, after a three-pointer from Jie Xu with 3:43 left but that was their last stand.
Gilas Youth responded with a quick 8-0 run capped off by Dalph Panopio’s three for a 65-55 lead with 2:35 left in the quarter.
Ildefonso led the Philippines with a team-high 21 points with six rebounds and seven assists while Carl Tamayo had 20 points and six boards.