Gilas Pilipinas secures spot for 2019 FIBA World Cup with big win vs Kazakhstan

Gilas Pilipinas’ Andray Blatche in action in game against Kazakhstan. Gilas won with a rousing 93-75 win, and secured a slot to play in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. (Photo grabbed from ESPN video/Courtesy ESPN)


(Eagle News) — Gilas Pilipinas got a slot to play in the 2019 FIBA World Cup after its rousing win against Kazakhstan on Sunday night, 93-75.

The game played at the Republican Velodrome in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan showed a revitalized Philippine team that avenged their loss the last time that they played against Kazakhstan in November last year.

On Sunday night Gilas Pilipinas’ Andray Blatche gave Gilas 41 points and 13 rebounds, prevailing over the Kazakhstan’s naturalized player Anthony Clemmons.

Blatche wasn’t around when Kazakhstan beat Gilas last year.

But this time, Gilas was all out to win, erupting 26 points in the third quarter and limiting Kazakhstan to just 15 in the final frame.

For Gilas to get to play at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, they not only had to beat Kazakhstan. They also needed a defeat of Lebanon, Japan or Jordan in their respective games.

Jordan won in their fight against New Zealand, and Japan pounced on their opponent Qatar, 94-68.

That left the Philippines hoping for a win from South Korea in its fight against Lebanon.

That happened with South Korea defeating Lebanon, 84-72, with the help of Ricardo Ratliffe, the former PBA import who is playing for South Korea.

Ratcliffe, the former import of PBA’s Star Hotshots, had 10 points, three rebounds and a block in the final quarter of the South Korea vs Lebanon game, and even gave a winning lay-up giving South Korea the lead. From then on, South Korea was on a rout to beat Lebanon, thus also giving the Philippines a slot for the FIBA World Cup, which will happen in China from August 31 to September 15.