Gilas Pilipinas earned their ticket to the FIBA Asia Cup by beating South Korea in a thriller matchup, 81-78. Samjosef Belangel banked a three-point shot at the buzzer to seal the win.
The South Korean team came out suffocating Gilas Pilipinas in the first quarter limiting them to just 12 points.
Kai Sotto and Dwight Ramos came alive as both players were able to combine for 15 points but the Philippine team still trail South Korea by eight during halftime, 44-46.
Ramos continued to barrage over the South Korean defense scoring seven points pushing the Philippines their first lead 54-52 at the 1:50 mark of the third quarter.
A three-pointer by Sangjae Kang pushed the Koreans to take a one-point lead heading to the final period.
It was Ange Kouame, Justin Baltazar and Samjosef Belangel’s turn to contribute and gave back the lead to the Philippines to lead by five points with 6:30 left in the quarter.
Ramos and Belangel each had baskets to help Gilas climb back to a one-point lead with 48 seconds left.
Koame missed the and-one opportunity but Hyung Jung Lee’s three-pointer tied the game at 78 with two seconds left.
Belangel drilled the bank shot three-pointer to seal the win for Gilas.
Guna RA was the best player for the South Koreans tallying 24 points and 15 rebounds while Lee provided 15 points.
Gilas Pilipinas will face FIBA Asia Cup hosts Indonesia next this coming Friday, June 18.