Hong Kong survived a first-half scare to beat the Philippines 17-7 in an enthralling quarter-final of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series qualifier.
In a repeat of the opening pool match, Hong Kong once again proved too strong for the Philippines despite going behind 7-0 to a Ryan Howe try.
In the final match of the day, tries from Yiu Kam Shing, Russel Webb and Tom McQueen were celebrated in style by the capacity crowd at the So Kon Po Stadium in Hong Kong.
Howe had given the Philippines the lead having dominated the first seven minutes but an error from the restart gifted Hong Kong possession, from which Kam Shing finally broke through the Philippines defence.
The host’s substitutes made an immediate impact in the second half and the victory sees Paul John’s side set up a quarter final with Chile, who beat Tonga 10-0 in their quarter final.
Ireland and Germany face each other in the first semi-final on Sunday with the winner of the tournament becoming a core team for the 2019/20 series.
For the Philippines, however, this tournament was more than just about attempting to qualify.
Playing in their first Hong Kong Sevens since 2012, their moment in the sun came with their first win of the weekend against Zimbabwe, making history by reaching the quarter-finals for the first time.
Two tries from Howe and one each for Justin Coveney and Donald Coleman secured the victory for the Philippines, celebrated in style at the full-time whistle.
For both sides, following the Hong Kong Sevens, attention turns to the Asia Rugby Sevens Series which will also be a curtain raiser for the Olympic Games qualifier in Korea in November.
Earlier Hong Kong completed a 100% record in pool play with a 19-12 win over Tonga with tries from Jack Neville, Michael Coverdale and captain Max Woodward.
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