Gilas settles for silver as China wins FIBA Asia final

By Ivan Saldajeno

CHANGSHA--Gilas Pilipinas may need to exert more effort next year for that Olympic dream to become a reality.

China claimed the last outright ticket to Rio De Janeiro by winning the final of the FIBA Asia Championship with a 78-67 victory over Gilas at the CSWC Dayun Arena on Saturday night.

Gilas actually had a 15-10 lead in the first quarter, but China began pulling away from there and held on despite a gallant effort from the Philippine team, which tried to overcome spotty officiating.

Guo Ailun led China with 19 points, six rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block, while Zhou Qi added 16 markers, 14 boards, and one swat.

Andray Blatche was the lone Gilas player in double figures with 17 points along with five rebounds.

China will join USA, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Nigeria, Australia, Spain, and Lithuania in next year's Summer Olympics.

Despite the loss, Gilas, with the quarterfinal win against Lebanon on Thursday, will play in an Olympic qualifier set for July, where the remaining three Olympic slots are on the line.

Box Scores:

China 78-Guo 19, Q. Zhou 16, Yi 11, Ding 9, G. Li 9, P. Zhou 7, Zhao 3, Zhai 2, Wang 2

Philippines 67-Blatche 17, Romeo 9, Abueva 9, Castro 8, Norwood 7, De Ocampo 7, Hontiveros 6, Thoss 4, Pingris 0, Rosser 0, Intal 0

Quarterscores: 23-19, 46-35, 60-50, 78-67