Out for a change in fortune following the heavy beating they got from Italy and Serbia, the Nationals displayed their big fighting heart in overcoming a 12-point deficit but ended up with an 81-84 overtime heartbreaker against Angola in a winnable Group D encounter yesterday.
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Gilas drops OT heartbreaker vs Angola
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - September 5, 2019 - 12:00am

FOSHAN –  After the harrowing experiences against a pair of European juggernauts, Gilas Pilipinas still couldn’t catch a break in the FIBA World Cup. 

Out for a change in fortune following the heavy beating they got from Italy and Serbia, the Nationals displayed their big fighting heart in overcoming a 12-point deficit but ended up with an 81-84 overtime heartbreaker against Angola in a winnable Group D encounter yesterday. 

Though improving by the day, the Filipinos finished with a big fat egg in the group stage held at the Foshan GBA International Sports and Cultural Center.

They now play in the two-game classification phase with the eliminated squads from Group C over in Beijing beginning tomorrow.

“We’re still disappointed at the same time, it’s good that finally we’re able to give ourselves a chance to win in the end game,” said coach Yeng Guiao.

The Filipinos initially played catch up but kept Angola’s lead to within manageable level. 

Trailing 46-56 after 30 minutes, Andray Blatche, Japeth Aguilar, Kiefer Ravena, RR Pogoy and CJ Perez anchored a major fightback that even put Gilas ahead, 70-67 in the last 2:33 of regulation. 

But Carlos Morais hit a clutch trey followed by a completed three-point play to give Angola back the lead, 73-70. No quit Gilas forced a tie on Perez’s booming triple but failed to cash in on their offensive in the dying seconds.

The Philippines opened the extra time with a reversed layup from Pogoy and a split by Blatche but that was its last hold of the lead as naturalized player Reggie Moore, Yanick Moreira, and Morais delivered the coup de grace in the stretch. 

Not as bad as the two previous setbacks, Guiao said this one’s just as frustrating.

“The losses to Italy and Serbia were actually expected losses but this one, we’d expected to win this one. We knew it would be a grindout game, a real close hard game but we also knew that there’s a big possibility we could win it,” said Guiao.

Blatche played his best game of the tournament with 23 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and four steals even as Perez turned in another solid outing with 17 markers plus seven boards and three feeds. Another freshman, Robert Bolick, delivered a double-digit output with 10.

Gilas had its best shooting day, too, making 10-of-21 tries from beyond the arc, but it wasn’t good enough.

“It’s still kinda frustrating we’re not able to make the three-point shots. We had 10 but still not enough. Had we made one or two more, it could have made a difference,” said Guiao.

Notes: Gilas coach Yeng Guiao fired back at Serbian counterpart Sasha Djorjevic, who had noted that Gilas “lacked quality” which he said led to lopsided losses to his team and previously Italy. “We’ve qualified for the World Cup for the second straight time, so how can he say that we didn’t have quality?” Guiao said. “That’s why there are FIBA zones and all I know is that we qualified from Asia, meaning we passed the standard in the World Cup qualification. Now if he has a problem with that, he can go take it up with FIBA.” Serbia, the 2014 silver medalists, flexed its muscles with a 126-67 beating of the Filipinos Monday night. “That’s probably the best team that Serbia has put together in a long time. As I said they are capable of reaching the finals or even winning it all. If that’s the standard he’s holding us to, then we may be short of quality.”

 

The scores:

Angola 84 – Joaquim 20, Moore 12, Moreira 12, Morais 11, Conceicao 10, Paulo 6, Domingos 5, Goncalves 5, Antonio 3, Mbunga 0.

Philippines 81 – Blatche 23, Perez 17. Bolick 10, Aguilar 8, Pogoy 8, Ravena 6, Barroca 4, Lee 3, Fajardo 2, Norwood 0, Rosario 0, Almazan 0.

Quarterscores: 21-20, 38-34, 56-46, 73-73 (reg.), 82-81 (OT)

 

FIBA WORLD CUP GILAS VS ANGOLA
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