- After losing in its first three games, the Gilas Cadets, led by Mac Belo, finally garnered their first victory in the 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge held in Tehran, Iran
- Mac Belo, the recent UAAP Final's MVP, led the charge to victory by grabbing 30 pts, 11 rebound, 3 assists, and 2 steals
- In order to stay alive in the tournament, the Gilas Cadets will now have to sweep the rest of their remaining matchups
Mac Belo caught fire as he led the Philippine team to its first win after unleashing a 30-point 11 rebound performance in their 98-86 victory against Kazakhstan in the 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge in Iran.
The Tamaraw forward from Far Eastern University displayed efficient basketball shooting 11 out of 18 attempts from the field, 3 from behind the arc, and 3 assists. He also showed incredible defense by grabbing two steals as he rallied towards Gilas Pilipinas' first victory after suffering from three straight losses since the tournament started.
Ed Daquioag of the UST Growling Tigers also gave out 17 points and 4 assists.
Early in the game, Gilas played basketball ablaze as they seared to a 22-7 advantage but with Kazakhstan's Mikhail Yevstigneynev's offensive prowess, the lead was eventually cut to only four, at 70-66, during the third quarter.
Luck may have sided with the Philippine team as Yevstigneynev's playing time was limited by foul trouble that eventually led to his eviction from the game with still 2:57 left in regulation.
The absence of Kazakhstan's leading scorer was the opportunity for Gilas to seal the deal with the help of Kevin Ferrer's crucial three-point shots.
Belo's 30 points are 4 points shy of the tournament's current highest score record claimed by Indian Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, which was at 34 points.
Belo is also ranked as the second leading scorer of the tournament averaging 21 points and shooting more than .500 per game.
Darquavis Lamar Tucker, naturalized player for the Jordan national team is the only player to beat the average at 21.3 points per game.
The Gilas Cadets are in a tough position after losing the first three games in the tournament. To advance to the next round, they will have to sweep their remaining matchups.
The Gilas Cadets will be playing the Jordan national team next on Wednesday.
Watch: Belo's amazing performance against Kazakhstan here:
Philippines 98 – Belo 30, Daquioag 17, Escoto 12, Ferrer 8, Perez 7, Cruz 6, Javier 6, Tolomia 6, Pogoy 3, Gotladera 2, Van Opstal 1, Pessumal 0.
Kazakhstan 86 – Yevstigneyev 23, Ilin 18, Bazhkin 17, Micheev 17, Kuanov 4, Konyssov 3, Kozhanov 2, Savchenko 2, Gubashev 0, Maidekin 0.