Gilas Pilipinas came tantalizingly close to securing its first win in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup but couldn’t hang on to the lead and allowed Angola to escape with an 84-81 overtime win, Wednesday at the GBA International Sports and Recreation Center in Foshan China.
Finally showing some signs of life after losing back-to-back blowout games against Italy and Serbia, the Philippine team fought back from a 10-point deficit entering the payoff period and even took a 4-point lead, 69-65, after a Japeth Aguilar putback slam going into the final 3 minutes of the match.
Gilas, however, blew an opportunity to win the game in regulation as CJ Perez wasted away the time away and threw a desperation heave 40-feet from the basket which hit nothing but air.
The Nationals then squandered a 3-point lead in the overtime period and failed to recover in time to drop to its 3rd straight loss and finish the preliminary round with a 0-3 record.
Andray Blatche showcased his best performance in the tournament as the 33-year old naturalized player finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals in 42 minutes of action. Rookies Perez and Robert Bolick chipped in 17 and 10 points, respectively while Roger Pogoy and Japeth Aguilar added 8 points apiece.
The team now is headed to Beijing for the classification phase and will face Tunisia on Friday, September 6 and Iran on Sunday, September 8.
Angola 84 – Joaquim 20, Moore 12, Moreira 12, Conceicao 10, Morais 8, Paolo 6, Goncalvez 9, Domingos 5, Antonio 3, MBunga 0
Gilas Pilipinas 81 – Blatche 23, Perez 17, Bolick 10, Pogoy 8, Aguilar 8, Ravena 6, Barroca 4, Lee , Fajardo 3, Rosario 0, Almazan 0, Norwood 0
Quarterscores: 21-20, 38-34, 56-46, 73-73, 84-81.