WATCH: Gilas Pilipinas vs Dominican Republic Game Highlights [2023 FIBA World Cup | Aug. 25, 2023]

Gilas Pilipinas fought valiantly but ultimately lost to the Dominican Republic, 87-81, in front of a record crowd on Friday, August 25 at the Philippine Arena in Manila.

With a record-breaking 38,115 spectators in attendance, including President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., the Filipinos tried but failed to take down the world’s No. 23 Dominicans.

The visitors were simply too composed in the final minutes, sinking crucial baskets and capitalizing on Jordan Clarkson’s absence.

Towns, as anticipated, dominated with 26 points and 10 rebounds, while Victor Liz and Andres Feliz contributed 18 and 12 points, respectively.

Despite failing to complete the game, Clarkson emerged as Gilas’ leading scorer with 28 points in addition 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and a block. He did, however, commit 8 of the Filipinos’ 19 turnovers.

June Mar Fajardo contributed 16 points and 7 rebounds, while Dwight Ramos added 13 markers.

The Filipinos, who engaged the Dominicans in a back-and-forth battle for three and a half quarters, held the lead early in the fourth quarter, 72-69, before the visiting team hit back-to-back three-pointers to reclaim the lead, 75-72.

Gilas would continue to hold on thanks to Fajardo’s efforts, but the Nationals’ prospects began to dim after Clarkson committed his fifth and final foul with a little over 3 minutes remaining in the game.

Fajardo tried to carry the fight for Gilas, but the Dominicans, smelling blood in the closing minutes, delivered the knockout punch.

Gilas seeks to bounce back against Angola at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, August 27. The Angolans are coming off an 81-67 loss to the Italians.

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