Kazakhstan played with a strong resolve behind its three-point shooting to take down Gilas Pilipinas, 92-88, in the fifth window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers on Friday the Mall of Asia Arena.
Entering the game with a four-game losing skid, the taller and physical Kazakhs caught fire from the three-point zone behind the hot hands of Alexandr Zhigulin, who went 6-of-12 to finish with a game-high 30 points.
Kazakhstan went 6-of-6 from the foul line late in the game, while big man Anton Bykhov and Alexandr Zhigulin practically sealed the outcome after scoring a two-point basket and a pair of foul shots in the endgame.
Stanley Pringle carried the scoring load for Gilas Pilipinas with 29 points, which fell to 5-4, in a tie with Japan which cruised past Qatar earlier, 85-47.
The Kazakhs improved to 4-5 with the win.
The loss, meanwhile, put Gilas in a must-win situation against Iran, which earlier got hammered by Australia. The Boomers booked a seat in the FIBA World Cup after improving to 8-1, while the Iranians managed to stay in second with their 6-3 card after the Filipinos' loss to the Kazakhs.
Gilas has two days to regroup before taking on the visiting Iran side on Monday.
The Iranians, who didn't play big man Hamed Haddadi and Nikkhah Bahrami in their loss to the Aussies, beat the Filipinos, 81-73, in their initial meeting last September in Tehran.