Gilas is escaping with a bang

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas beat China 96-75 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday to finish 24th out of 32 points, marking a tremendous record in FIBA World Cup history. The Philippines, along with 29th-ranked China, 31st-ranked Iran and 32nd-ranked Jordan, ranked third out of six Asian countries, greatly improved from 32nd place in the previous FIBA World Cup.

The Philippines have won just two of their last 21 FIBA World Cup matches dating back to 1978, and coach Chot Reyes is credited with the first two wins against Senegal in 2014 to win 81-79 OT. Gilas’ 10.5-point loss margin in four games this year was the second lowest in the Philippines’ seven FIBA World Cup appearances. Also, with Reyes at the helm, the lowest score difference ever was 5.75 points in 2014. The biggest loss score difference was 31.4 points in Manila in 1978.

Jordan Clarkson’s 34 points against China was the Philippines’ highest single-game output ever. Only two other players in the Philippines scored at least 30 points in the FIBA World Cup. FIBA Hall of fame member Carlos Roizaga scored 31 points in the Philippines’ 67-63 victory over Uruguay in Rio de Janeiro in 1954. Ramon Cruz shot 33 points in the 1978 Philippines’ 98-88 loss to Canada and 31 points in the 117-101 loss to Yugoslavia.

In FIBA World Cup history, only 12 players scored at least 20 points in a game for the Philippines. Clarkson and Andrei Blattch have done it in five competitions, Bogs Adorado has scored in three competitions, Loizaga, Robert Jaworski, Lauro Mumar, Bonnie Carbonnell in two competitions, Francis Arnaiz, Pons Saladana, Constano Ortis, Steve, and Joe, and only 20 points in each competition.

The 21-point victory over China was the second biggest victory in FIBA World Cup history in 1954, after the Philippines’ 90-56 victory over Israel. It was the Philippines’ second victory over an Asian country at the 1954 FIBA World Cup. This was a 48-38 loss to the Asian nation at the 1954 FIBA World Cup, and the only loss to the Asian nation was a 95-75 loss to Iran in 2019. The victory over China was an Asian country’s fifth win, a FIBA victory since the FIBA tournament, and its 10th win over an Asian country.

The Philippines’ seven-point loss to Italy was the lowest point difference in the third round of the FIBA World Cup. Italy defeated the Philippines 112-75 in 1978 and 108-62 in 2019. Gillas’ performance gave him a chance to qualify for the Paris Olympics.


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