Gilas Pilipinas advances to 2019 FIBA World Cup

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(CNN Philippines, February 25) — Gilas Pilipinas is marching on to the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Gilas pummeled Kazakhstan, 93-75, to book a ticket to the global showpiece Monday at the Velodrome Saryarka in Astana.

Andray Blatche delivered a superb performance for Gilas with 41 points and 13 rebounds.

Blatche did the heavy lifting after scoring 17 points as Gilas took the slim upper hand at the end of the opening frame.

A more collective effort from Gilas enabled them to hold a five-point edge heading into the intermission Kazakhstan's resiliency, however, prevented Gilas to pull away in the third quarter. But Gilas was just determined to get the win in the end.

Gilas entered its final game in the Asian qualifiers with their backs against the wall. The team didn't just have to win its last game against Kazakhstan, they also needed Lebanon, Japan or Jordan to lose in order to make it to the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Korea came from behind to defeat Lebanon, 84-72, to help the Philippines secure its entry to the World Cup.

Jayson Castro had 15 points and three rebounds for Gilas. Anthony Clemmons powered Kazakhstan with 27 markers and nine dimes.

The 2019 FIBA World Cup will happen from August 31 to September 15 in China.