Gilas Pilipinas loses steam in fourth, falls to Senegal

A scoring drought in the fourth quarter spelled doom for Gilas Pilipinas which led to a 72-64 loss at the hands of Senegal on Friday, August 4, in Guangdong, China at the Heyuan WUS International Basketball Tournament.

The Filipinos’ shooting simply disappeared in the fourth quarter, enabling the Senegalese to pull away for good and earn their second consecutive victory in the pocket tournament. The Philippine national basketball team, on the other hand, fell to 1-1 after an 11-point opening day win over Iran.

Gilas, aided by its suffocating defense, overcame yet another sluggish start and maintained a 57-55 lead in the final quarter before turning ice cold from the field.

Within the final three minutes of the game, Senegal capitalized on Gilas’ dry spell by unleashing a decisive 15-4 run to establish a comfortable 70-61 lead.

June Mar Fajardo led Gilas in scoring with 14 points, followed by Dwight Ramos and CJ Perez with 11 each. Jamie Malonzo contributed 9 markers.

Gilas, which is already in the final stages of preparation for the 2023 World Cup, actually succumbed to one of Africa’s toughest teams that will not even be competing in the upcoming global basketball meet.

Senegal, which earlier defeated Iran to go 2-0 in the first half of the pocket tournament, is currently preparing for the FIBA Pre-Olympic Qualifying competition.

Gilas will have an opportunity to settle the score when the two sides clash anew on Sunday, August 6.

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