Gilas Pilipinas Men pulled off a huge upset over the top-seeded Mongolian team, beating them 21-20 in the quarterfinals of the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup 2022 Sunday in Singapore.
Almond Vosotros found his range late in the game to push the Philippines into the semifinals of the tournament. Down by two points, 20-18, heading into the final minutes of the game, Vosotros delivered three straight points to end the game.
With 1:37 left, Vosotros was fouled as he was making a move in the perimeter. With Mongolia in penalty situation, Gilas’ leading scorer trooped to the line with a chance to tie the game. He made the first free throw to cut the deficit down to one point. He missed the second free throw, but Samboy De Leon was able to pluck the offensive rebound. He found Vosotros beyond the arc to clear the ball.
Vosotros made a quick move to get to his left and launched the game-winner over the outstretched arms of the recovering Mongolian defender.
“I just shot it. Every time I’m open, I’m gonna shoot it. That’s my role in this team,” Vostoros said about his game-winner.
It was a highly physical game, with both teams taking it strong to the hoop in the early stages of the contest. Mongolia was able to take a three-point lead, but the Philippines refused to back down over the highest-seeded team. They kept in step with the Mongolians until De Leon and Vosotros found their range down the stretch.
De Leon hit two crucial 2-pointers to tie the game at 13. That allowed Gilas to trade baskets with Mongolia, setting up the Vosotros dagger.
“The good thing that happened in the game is we didn’t give up. We gave our best,” Vosotros said.
Vosotros led the team with eight points including three 2-pointers. De Leon added seven points.
Gilas will face either Japan or New Zealand in the semifinals later at 6:15 PM.