So near, yet so far for the Gilas Pilipinas yet again. China clinched the FIBA Asia championship on Saturday by beating Gilas 78-67 in a cracker of a final. With this win, China also confirmed a berth in the Rio Olympics to be held next year. Gilas, along with third place winners Iran, and semifinalists Japan have secured a berth in the Olympic qualifiers. Philippines also won the silver medal after bowing out to Iran in the finals of the last edition of the tournament.
Hosts China won their sixteenth title in Chanshah-Huan. This time winning the crown as undefeated champions.
Jianlian emerged as the most valuable player of the championship for his consistent show through-out the tournament. the 27 year-old posted had 11 points, 15 rebounds and 2 blocks for China in the Final and averaged 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game in the FIBA Asia 2015. He shot 52.9 percent from the field.
Gilas players, coach and fans rued over the officiating in the finals, which, according to them was “motivated.” Coach Tab Baldwin was slapped with a technical for repeatedly complaining against the match officials.
“No comment,” said Baldwin when asked about the officiating later. “That would only open a can of worms.”
“The way we started gave us a really good chance. Sobra lang talaga yung officiating,” said former national coach Chot Reyes, coach of the Gilas team that also finished runner-up in the 2013 Fiba Asia in Manila.
Watch the video of the match here.