Gilas Pilipinas stuns Latvia in historic upset

Gilas Pilipinas stuns Latvia in historic upset
Photo from FIBA

GILAS Pilipinas pulled off a stunning 89-80 upset over world No. 6 Latvia in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Riga, marking the first time a Filipino national team has beaten a European squad in an official FIBA competition since 1960.

Justin Brownlee led the way for the Philippines with 26 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists, including a crucial four-point play in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

Kai Sotto added 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting and 8 rebounds, while Dwight Ramos (12 points), June Mar Fajardo (11), and Chris Newsome (10) contributed double-digit scores.

The win puts Gilas Pilipinas in a strong position to advance to the OQT semifinals. If they beat Georgia on Thursday, July 4, they will secure a semifinal berth as the top seed in Group A.

Even a loss by 18 points or less against Georgia will still see the Philippines progress to the next round.

Despite the shock defeat, Latvia has already qualified for the semifinals thanks to their 83-55 win over Georgia in their first game.

Georgia needs to beat the Philippines by 19 points or more to advance to the semis. (Jessa M. Magbutay, NWSSU intern)

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