After three failed attempts, Gilas 5.0 finally got the breakthrough win, blasting the hapless Kazakhstan side, 98-86 in the second round of the FIBA Asia Challenge on Tuesday in Tehran, Iran.
Former Far Eastern University stalwart Mac Belo once again lit the scoreboard, firing 30 points to help Gilas complete its first win in four starts.
Gilas has a slim chance of advancing to the knockout quarterfinals. But the PH team must beat Jordan on Wednesday, while India needs to lose its last two matches in the second round to give Gilas safe passage to the quarterfinals.
The gritty Kazakhs, who trailed by as much as 16 points, managed to threaten, 66-70 entering the payoff period. But the Filipinos proved steadier in the end to finally punch in their first win in the tournament.
The national side, composed of former college standouts and mentored by Josh Reyes, went on a 0-3 start after bowing to India, Chinese-Taipei and China, respectively. – John Bryan Ulanday
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