E-Gilas Pilipinas posted contrasting victories in sweeping Mongolia to advance to the finals of the FIBA Esports Open III on Saturday night, April 17.
The Laus Playbook Esports-backed Nationals routed the Mongolians, 95-35, in Game 1 before surviving with a 64-58 win in Game 2 to prevail in the best-of-three semifinals.
It would be the third straight finals appearance for E-Gilas in the SEA tournament of FIBA Esports after winning the inaugural edition and finishing runner-up to Australian in the second event both last year.
The unbeaten Philippines is set to face the winner between Indonesia and Vietnam in the best-of-three championship series on Sunday.
Aljon “Shintarou” Cruzin fired 36 points anchored on 10 triples to go with 12 assists to spark E-Gilas’ 60-point demolition of Mongolia in the opening game.
Rial “Rial” Polog Jr. provided ample support with 24 points, four assists and three steals while Philippe “IzzoIV-” Herrero chipped in 15 markers and six rebounds.
It was a whole different story in Game 2 as Mongolia tried to keep its dear life in the six-team tourney that is using the NBA 2K game in PlayStation 4.
Shintarou hit a huge layup while Rial sank back-to-back treys to keep the hard-fighting Mongolians at bay down the final stretch and lift the redemption-seeking E-Gilas to the finals anew.
Shintarou once again led the scoring with 36 points on top of six assists even as Rial added 16 markers.