A team with a mere 36-percent three-point shooting average, the Kazakhs surprised the Nationals with a fiery 12-of-23 clip from the arc in this game, including 6-of-12 from 6-foot-8 forward Alexandr Zhigulin.
fiba.basketball
Hot-shooting Kazakhs put Philippines in a bind
Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - December 1, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas ran into a well-organized, extra-sharp Kazakhstan team last night, and suffered a heart-rending 88-92 loss that stalled its drive in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers to the disappointment of a near capacity crowd at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.

A team with a mere 36-percent three-point shooting average, the Kazakhs surprised the Nationals with a fiery 12-of-23 clip from the arc in this game, including 6-of-12 from 6-foot-8 forward Alexandr Zhigulin.

The Kazakhs were a much-improved team from the one that Team Phl tore to shreds in their Asian Games matchup in Jakarta last August.

Zhigulin and his teammates were in constant motion while executing great plays, netting them 21 assists, including a perfect dish by Rustam Yergali to Anton Bykov that made it 92-88 in the closing seconds.

 “I’ve said this before that if the Kazakhs are able to make their three-pointers, we would be in trouble,” said Gilas coach Yeng Guiao. “Our problem is that their bigs are the ones making the treys. Our bigs couldn’t step out and challenge their shots.”

Averaging just 6.9 points, Zhigulin stood out  in this game, firing away 30 points on 10-of-16 field goals and 4-of-6 charities.

Stanley Pringle carried much of the load for Team Phl with 29 points but missed crucial shots at the finish, and the Nationals thus dropped to a precarious spot in Group F play.

Japan caught up with the Philippines at third place behind Australia and Iran at 5-4 as the Japanese clobbered Team Qatar, 85-47, over in Tokyo.

The Filipinos are now hard-pressed to win their last three games against Iran, Qatar and Kazakhstan.

“We’re disappointed but we still have one game on Monday (in the fifth window). We can’t feel too negative about ourselves. We can salvage the situation if we can play a good game against Iran,” said Guiao.

The Nationals actually didn’t shoot badly with a 42.2-percent clip but couldn’t keep up with the Kazakhs’ razor-sharp game.

BASKETBALL FIBA WORLD CUP GILAS PILIPINAS
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