It was a major breakthrough because the last time a Philippine basketball team ever beat a team from China was in 1985 during the ABC championships. Since then, beating a Chinese team had always been the dream of any Philippine basketball team.
Chot Reyes thus earned the honor of being the first coach to give the Philippines a victory over China after Ron Jacobs in 1985.
China’s loss in the hands of San Miguel-RP booted them out of contention for the championship. That was the other significance of the RP team’s victory.
The Filipino basketball stars of the game were Jimmy Alapag who scored 25 and Mark Caguioa who contributed 16. They scored crucial baskets that prevented the Chinese from trimming the small margin.
Says Chot Reyes:
“Jimmy (5’10”) is the prototypical Filipino basketball player… Short, but skilled, athletic and he plays with a lot of heart. He is our leader out there.”