Fans can watch the Philippines vs. China basketball game live online and see if Gilas Pilipinas can continue its amazing run all the way to a FIBA Asia Championship and a long-awaited Olympic berth.
On Friday, the Gilas team pulled out a difficult 81-70 victory over Japan in the semifinals, setting up a match against the powerhouse China, which will be played in front of a friendly crowd in Changsha.
Start time for the FIBA Asia Championship game is at 8:30 p.m. in the Philippines (GMT+8).
In the semifinal win, Dondon Hontiveros found his touch from deep for the Philippiones, hitting six of nine three-pointers to end with 18 points, the PBA’s official website noted.
It was not an easy win for the Philippines.
“I think Japan deserves an awful lot of credit,” Philippines coach Tab Baldwin said, via FIBA.com.
“They could easily have won that game. It was an outstanding game of basketball. I thought our guys just made a few more plays in the last minute and a half and they didn’t.”
If Gilas Pilipinas is able to knock off China in the FIBA Asia Championship, they will rely heavily on Andray Blatche. The most consistent player for the Philippines, Blatche is a former NBA player who is now playing in China and has the experience on the big stage that many other Gilas players lack.
In the FIBA Asia tournament, Blatche is averaging 17 points in about 24 minutes of play, even though Syracuse.com noted that he has been dealing with a sore ankle.
— PBAonTV5 (@PBAonTV5) September 27, 2015
But Gilas Pilipinas must overcome the home crowd advantage for China, which Baldwin said should not be too hard.
“Let them come play in front of Philippine fans, there’s the real fans. These are fake fans,” he said, via GMA Network. “They don’t know the game of basketball and they just sit up there and cheer when they’re told to cheer.
“They don’t bother us at all. Noise is noise. What’s that got to do with anything? Nothing. We’re not interested in that,” he added.
Fans who watch the Philippines vs. China basketball game live online will see if the Gilas Pilipinas’ team can earn a trip to the 2016 Olympics in Rio. The team has not been to the Olympics since 1972, and has not finished in the top 10 since 1956. But the program has a history of success on the big stage, including a fifth-place finish in 1936, the best by any team outside the Americas, Europe, or Oceania. The Gilas Pilipinas team has the most Olympic wins among teams outside these regions as well.
— PBAonTV5 (@PBAonTV5) October 2, 2015
Fans who watch Gilas Pilipinas live online will see a team on an incredible run. As Bleacher Report pointed out, the team looked lost just a few weeks ago, but has since turned it around and is on the brink of its first Olympic appearance in more than four decades.
“Philippines head coach Tab Baldwin deserves a lot of credit. His team began its current journey in late August at the Toyota Four Nations Cup. Gilas Pilipinas started that event with a blowout loss to the Netherlands, which featured a quarter in which the Philippines was outscored 29-4.
“Baldwin’s players have made a lot of progress since that point. While there were some minor hiccups along the way, including a loss to Palestine in the FIBA Asia opener, the Philippines has elevated its form considerably and is deserving of its place in the final.”
Fans who want to watch the Philippines vs. China basketball game live online can click here for streaming video of Gilas Pilipinas.
[Picture via FIBA.com]