GOMABSEUBNIDA! Gilas has nemesis Korea to thank for FIBA World Cup berth

Paul Lintag on Feb 25, 2019 09:28 AM
Gilas has nemesis Korea to thank for FIBA World Cup berth
Out of all teams, it was South Korea that came through for Gilas Pilipinas. Yes, it was the South Koreans, the Philippines' longtime basketball nemesis in Asian basketball. (FIBA)

Gilas Pilipinas needed a number of things to go its way Sunday to make the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Halfway through though, the worst-case scenario for the national team was taking shape.

The Philippines needed a win against Kazakhstan and a loss to either Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, and Japan to for a chance to have a shot at advancing to the World Championships.

At the very least, Gilas needed a win and a loss to either Jordan or Lebanon.

But as halftime of all those games hit Sunday, Gilas was on track for a win but every team that could have offered the Philippines some help were trailing.

Fortunately, Gilas Pilipinas did get its win against Kazakhstan and the Filipinos received help from the most unlikely source possible.

Out of all teams, it was South Korea that came through for Gilas Pilipinas. Yes, it was the South Koreans, the Philippines' longtime basketball nemesis in Asian basketball.

Japan beat Qatar as expected but Australia and New Zealand somehow both lost to Iran and Jordan respectively. However, Korea would handle business against Lebanon, grinding out a win late to give Gilas Pilipinas a boost.

Playing a determined home team in Lebanon, South Korea struggled for three quarters. But come the fourth, they switched things up, outscoring the Lebanese, 22-8, to pull away with a win.

Former Star import Ricardo Ratliffe was the star for the Koreans, finishing with a game-high 25 points and 11 rebounds. He shot 50 percent from the field and made 70 percent of his free throws. He also had four blocks for good measure.

Gilas Pilipinas needed a number of things to go its way Sunday to make the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Helped came through from the most unlikeliest source. Ironic too since it was South Korea that Gilas Pilipinas had to beat to make the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

[RELATED: FIBA: Mighty Jimmy and the shot that introduced Gilas to the World]

The Philippines and South Korea may be heated rivals in basketball, but at least for one night, the Gilas boys, and the rest of the Filipinos, will be saying thanks.

Finger hearts for everyone.

 

 

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