MANILA, Philippines (Updated 5:44 p.m.) — Gilas Pilipinas didn't make Filipino fans wait another eight years with their second win over South Korea in just as many tries.
Playing their final game in the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers, Gilas outhustled Korea, 82-77, at the AUF Gym in Pampanga on Sunday.
Proving their win on Wednesday wasn't a fluke, Gilas came away with another balanced team effort to finish their Asia Cup qualifiers slate at 6-0.
The Nationals played inspired basketball on Sunday following claims by South Korean head coach Cho Sang Hyun that their loss to Gilas on Wednesday came due to a "lucky shot" by SJ Belangel at the buzzer.
This drew ire of Gilas head coach Tab Baldwin.
"We already read that the Korean coach felt that we were lucky to win the game and frankly, I think that's pretty rich," Baldwin had said on Friday prior to their clash.
A broken play converted into an open dunk for Justine Baltazar to pad Gilas' lead to four, 79-75 with 33 ticks left gave just enough breathing room for the Nationals.
While Ra Gun-Ah would convert on an easy two to pull the Koreans within a bucket, an unsportsmanlike foul called on Lee Daesung turned the tides for Gilas.
Belangel and Dwight Ramos would convert on a combined three free throws to arrive at the final score.
Ramos led all Gilas scorers with 19 points while youngsters Jordan Heading, Kai Sotto, and RJ Abarrientos scaterred 10 points each.
Ra Gun-Ah paced the Koreans with 20 points while Hyunjung Lee chipped in 13.
The Asia Cup is slated for August in Indonesia.
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