Gilas Pilipinas won their first game in the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers against a determined Japanese team, 77-71, in Tokyo on Friday.
KAMI learned of the results of the game in ABS-CBN News.
Jayson Castro scored the biggest points, racking up 20 by the end of the game. Andray Blatche scored 13. Both players contributed three-pointers in the second half when Japan burned Gilas' 14-point lead.
Blatche shot a buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of the third quarter to push their lead, 59-55.
In the fourth quarter, the naturalized player shot another triple and made an assist to Jun Mar Fajardo that put their lead back to two digits, 70-60.
Japan answered with their own 3-pointer, courtesy of Yuka Togashi, as they once again close the lead, 72-69.
With just over a minute left in the game, Castro released his own comeback triple to keep the Philippine team's lead, 75-69.