GILAS Pilipinas will battle defending champion China in the semifinals after narrowly escaping an 84-83 victory over Iran on Tuesday, October 3, at the Zijingang gymnasium to secure a semifinal berth in the 19th Asian Games men's basketball competition in Hangzhou, China.
The Filipinos, despite a commanding 21-point lead in the third quarter, faced a fierce comeback from Iran, ultimately requiring late-game heroics from Justin Brownlee and a bit of luck to secure the win.
Brownlee, who had been relatively quiet with just two points, emerged as the hero with a clutch floater that gave Gilas the lead with 44 seconds remaining.
Gilas head coach Tim Cone told the media, “I think we did a good job in the first three quarters. But when they threw a wrench into our plans with that box-and-one, we just kinda struggled. I think the Iranian coach did a great job bringing his team back.” MLSA