TEAM Pilipinas got a huge lift from Korea in booking a seat in the Fiba Basketball World Cup.
Korea overcame a slow start to beat home side Lebanon, 84-72, in a game Lebanon needed to win to book a spot in the World Cup of basketball.
Minutes later, Team Pilipinas did its job as it punched a ticket to the World Cup after beating Kazakhstan, 93-75, in Astana.
It took a win by the Philippines’ biggest rival in Asian basketball to move Gilas into the 2019 World Cup.
The Philippines had a long history of heartbreaks at the hands of Korea, including that infamous 2002 semifinal match in the Asian Games where Lee Sang Min hit a buzzer-beater.
Incidentally, a former PBA import in Ricardo Ratliffe also helped Korea take the win in practically a no-bearing match for the team having already booked a spot in the World Cup.
Ratliffe, a former import of the Purefoods franchise, had 25 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks and helped Korea outscore Lebanon in the fourth quarter, 22-8.
Korea also won after trailing by as many as 13 points over Lebanon, which missed the ticket to the World Cup after Jordan beat New Zealand in the other game.
Kim Jongkyu had 14 points, while Lim Dongseop had 12 points for Korea, which finished the qualifiers with a 10-2 record.
Lebanon dropped to 6-6.