Korea stands in the way of Gilas Pilipinas' march to FIBA-Asia semis
Paul Lintag on Aug 16, 2017 09:30 AM
For Gilas Pilipinas to advance in the semifinals of the 2017 FIBA-Asia Cup, the national team has to go through a familiar rival. (AP)
It's the Philippines vs. South Korea in a knockout game.
This matchup between eternal basketball rivals really needs no introduction if you really think about it.
But for the benefit of everyone, let's proceed.
The latest installment of the Philippines-South Korea rivalry will have a semifinals slot on the line, one step closer to the Asian championship.
Gilas Pilipinas actually got a bye in the first round of the knockout stages, advancing to the quarterfinals outright after sweeping Group B with a clean 3-0 mark.
The Philippines scored a vengeful win over China to open preliminary play in Beirut and now, all of a sudden, Gilas Pilipinas is one of the favorites to win the entire tournament.
Despite falling to third place in Group C, the Koreans didn't exaclty sturggle in the FIBA-Asia Cup.
Following an opening-day loss to hosts Lebanon, South Korea has won three games in a row, including an upset of New Zealand to finish the preliminary round.
Korea then took down Japan n its first knockout game to set the highly-anticipated clash with the Philippines.
This will be the first time the two countries will meet in FIBA-Asia since 2013 where Gilas Pilipinas scored an 86-79 win in the semifinals.
According to FIBA's website for the 2017 Asia Cup, the Korean's hold a 14-9 advantage over the Philippines in head-to-head matchups although it's important to note that basketball's world governing body do not recognize games played in tournaments like the Asian games and the Jones Cup.
Gilas Pilipinas will meet South Korea on Wednesday with tip off at 11:30 p.m. local time.
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