Gilas Pilipinas drops to 5-4 with shocking 88-92 home loss to Kazakhstan

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Gilas Pilipinas ran into a well-prepared Kazakhstan side three months from their last matchup and suffered an 88-92 loss that put them in a precarious spot nearing the end of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.

With the heartbreaking defeat, the Nationals dropped to joint third place with the Japanese at 5-4 in Group F play.

Earlier in the day, the Japanese defended their turf in Tokyo, dumping Qatar, 85-47.

The Kazakhs showed much improvement from their blowout loss to the Filipinos in their Asian Games matchup in Jakarta in August, humbling Gilas before its huge cheering crowd at the MOA Arena.

A team with a mere 35.6-percent shooting from the arc in eight previous FIBAWC games, the Kazakhs sizzled with 12-of-23 three-pointers (52.2) in this match to stun the Filipinos.

Alexander Zhigulin, a 6-foot-7 forward averaging only 6.9 points in the qualifiers, exploded for 6-of-12 treys and a total of 30 points.

The two teams engaged in fierce shootout but the Filipinos missed crucial shots at the finish, allowing the Kazakhs to pull off the shocker.

The scores:

Kazakhstan 92 — Zhigulin 30, Bykov 20, Yergali 12, Murzagaliyev 11, Kuanov 8, Bazhin 7, Marchuk 4, Chsherbak 0, Lapchenko 0, Gavrilov 0.

Philippines 88 — Pringle 29, Fajardo 14, Lassiter 13, Tenorio 8, Norwood 7, Thompson 6, Wright 5, Aguilar 4, Erram 2, Cabagnot 0, Belga 0, Slaughter 0.

Quarterscores: 17-18, 40-39, 65-62, 92-88.