Philippines ends Korea heartbreak, books ticket to FIBA World Cup

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MANILA, Philippines – In what could be one of his final moments donning the country’s colors, Jimmy Alapag saved his best for last.

Alapag, the Philippine team captain, hit a huge three late in the fourth quarter as Gilas Pilipinas finally got by South Korea, 86-79, in the semifinal round of the 27th FIBA Asia Men’s Championship to secure a berth in the World Championships in Spain next year.

Alapag, the smallest guy on the court at five-foot-nine, showed he had the biggest heart with the bulk of his 14 points coming when the Nationals needed them most.

The veteran playmaker buried a triple with 54 ticks left that gave the Philippines an 84-79 lead as the frenzied crowd at the jampacked Mall of Asia Arena roared to its loudest.

The Philippines, which did it sans the services of the injured Marcus Douthit in the second half, will meet 2007 and 2009 Asian champion Iran in the finale Sunday night.

Gilas rode on Jayson William in the third quarter.

Fearless, William obliterated Korea’s defense with his unmatched quickness with the ball. He scored on three straight drives as Gilas got a taste of the lead, 40-39, early in the third quarter since taking a 13-10 cushion.

Douthit, practically with just one good leg, was hardly felt during his 13-minute play and seemed to have aggravated his right calf injury midway through the second quarter. He asked to be subbed out and did not return after scoring just two points with no field goals made.

The Philippines booked a ticket to Spain, making it to the FIBA Basketball World Cup for the first time in 28 years.

Originally posted at 10:08 p.m.

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  • Noel

    How true is it that had Gilas lost to Korea, the management would change the team’s name to MALAS.

    • bit coin

      Grow up KID!

  • makabayan2012

    to gilas:
    just do your best
    believe
    enjoy the moment
    create a great a new philippine sport history

    kaya nyo yan

    i believe in you guys

    team pilipinas una ka sa lahat

    support our other teams too 3×3, asian youth, etc

  • bit coin

    Persians ang kalaban.

    SPARTANS WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?

    AHU!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Don Dee

    Salute to the South Koreans! That you were, as always, a tough nut to crack made our victory all that much sweeter. Special mention to the one Korean player who lingered awhile after the game to shake hands with our players. You were faster, taller, had better teamwork, and had better shooters — we just simply wanted it more. It was all DESIRE and PUSO!

  • tarikan

    Sino na ang katapat ni Hamadi mamayang gabi eh palagay ko hindi na makakapaglaro si lakay Marcus Douthit. My favorite Ilocano center is hurting. Hamadi vs. Aguilar in the paint?

    • sunken_garden

      malay mo, baka heto na ang oras para pumutok naman si JuneMar Fajardo :)

  • jokerkaayo

    In my opinion, it was a win beyond what our players are normally capable of doing under ordinary circumstances. It was like a David against Goliath down the stretch due to the sheer size and shooting advantage of the Korean national team.

    Nevertheless, man can only desire but it is always God’s purpose that prevails. Mabuhay at maraming salamat – Gilas Pilipinas!

  • Hugh Bell

    Sir MVP, please buy an NBA franchise and bring the nucleus of this Gilas team to the NBA. lol

  • AlzheimersC

    Sa akin natuto ang Gilas ng mga taktika kung paano manalo sa basketball…:):):) joke lang!

    Sana maipanalo rin natin ang world cup….!

  • ciscotracker

    Sana tanggalin (o hinaan) na yung maingay na drums sa arena. Hindi ako magtataka kung yung ilang “inadvertent” calls ng referees ay dahil sa distracting masyado yung ingay. Minsan hindi mo marinig yung buzzers eh kaya pati players (local or visiting) parang natutuliro. Suggestion lang naman.

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