Rex Neil Falogme 

And just like that, the drought is over.

Gilas Pilipinas finally ended their 61-year gold medal drought in men's basketball after a 70-60 victory over Jordan in the 19th Asian Games at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center on Friday night.

Photo Courtesy of AFP

Justin Brownlee continued his scoring dominance for the Philippines as he led with 20 points, but it was Ange Kouame who became the man of the night as he made crucial free throws and well-timed buckets, finishing the game with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

"We knew the team needed that win and to get the job done. Everyone came together and that was a great team effort. It means a lot after all these years, and that's bigger than all of us," said Kouame.

Gilas started strong and posted a quick 11-5 lead in the first quarter, closing the opening frame with a five-point advantage, 17-12.

The Filipinos were able to establish a 28-15 upper hand in the second quarter until Rondae Hollis-Jefferson took over and sparked a searing 14-1 rally to tie the game, 29-all.

Gilas gained another momentum in the third quarter after successive treys from Scottie Thompson and Calvin Oftana for a 43-39 lead.

Ahmad Al Dwairi, on the other hand, brought Jordan to a striking distance after his two free throws, 41-45, but the Filipinos immediately dropped a 6-0 bomb to claim a 51-41 lead going to the fourth quarter.

Jordan opened the last quarter with a triple from Freddy Ibrahim, followed by John Bohannon's basket that cut their deficit to 53-46, and were able to bring themselves closer, 60-56, after a couple of freebies from Hollis-Jefferson and one from Ahmad Al Dwairi.

Facing a possible comeback, Kouame saved the day for Gilas as he converted the much needed free throws and a crucial jumper in the final 1:45 minutes to keep the Filipinos afloat, 64-56.

Hollis-Jefferson activated his mamba-like mentality once again after delivering big shots down the stretch, but Kouame's free throws in the last 14 seconds sealed the deal for Gilas.

Chris Newsome contributed 13 points for the Philippines as the team clinched the country's first gold medal in basketball after six decades.

Hollis-Jefferson, meanwhile, led the Jordan national team with 24 markers.

All in all, Gilas has balanced scoring with 21 points coming off the bench, while Jordan relied heavily on Hollis-Jefferson tallying with only eight bench points.

Edited by Jostle Doen Pilayre