Gilas Pilipinas drops to 0-2 after crucial loss to Angola

Angola has Gilas Pilipinas’ number in the FIBA World Cup, whether at home or abroad.

With a disheartening 80-70 loss to the Angolans in front of a stunned home crowd at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, August 27, the Filipinos perhaps blew its best chance to pick-up a victory in the group stage.

Jordan Clarkson scored 21 points but did so inefficiently as Angola reasserted their dominance over the Filipinos, four years after defeating Gilas Pilipinas in the previous World Cup edition in China.

The Utah Jazz star went 7-of-22 from the field and scored only 4 points in the fourth quarter as the Philippines blew an 11-point lead in the first half and eventually absorbed another defeat.

Gilas established its largest lead of the game at 28-17 early in the second quarter, but Angola completed the first half on a 19-5 run led by Bruno Fernando for a 36-33 halftime advantage.

Angola improved to 1-1 as Fernando of the Atlanta Hawks finished with 12 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal.

Gerson Goncalves, on the other hand, proved to be the biggest thorn in the Philippines’ side, putting up 17 points and 6 rebounds in the final frame.

The loss hurt the Filipinos’ chances of qualifying for the Paris Olympics, as Japan became the first Asian team to secure a win by defeating Finland 98-88 in Group E on Sunday in Okinawa.

The World Cup will determine which Asian team will compete in the Summer Games next year.

No other Gilas player scored in double digits, with AJ Edu tallying 9 points and 6 rebounds and Kai Sotto bouncing back with 8 points and 6 rebounds after seeing action for only 73 seconds in their loss to Dominican Republic.

In over 12 minutes of action, CJ Perez, who sat out the entire game against the Dominicans, compiled 7 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Gilas, the only winless team in Group A with a 0-2 record, can still barge into the win column when it plays Italy on Tuesday, August 29, at the same venue.

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