Gilas Pilipinas tried but failed to overcome Jordan’s 25-point advantage and closed out the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers with a stinging 91-90 loss to the visitors, Monday evening at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue Bulacan.
The Philippine national basketball team fell down big, 41-16, early in the second frame but regrouped in the second half and managed to equalize the score, the last at 88-all, only to come up short in the end as Scottie Thompson missed 2 free throws which would’ve given Gilas the lead. Ray Parks also flubbed a potential game-winning jumper just as time expired.
Justin Brownlee shone the brightest once more for the home team as the resident import of Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel in the PBA tallied 41 points on 16-of-26 shooting with 5-of-7 coming from beyond the arc. The newly-naturalized Fiipino added 12 rebounds, 3 assists and a block in 35 minutes of action.
Brownlee’s scoring output tied the 2023 Asian Qualifiers record set by Mohammad Jamshidi during Iran’s 80-68 win over Syria a year ago.
“Credit to our guys for not giving up. We still clawed back and gave ourselves a chance to win the ballgame. This is another test,” said Gilas head coach Chot Reyes.
“Friday is done, it’s over, this was another test and tonight we got tested. Despite the result, still pleased with the way we played, particularly in the second half,” he added.
“It was a nightmare start for us. Credit to Jordan, they came out sharp and had a good game plan. You saw that with the score in the first half.”
Jamie Malonzo contributed 11 points, 5 boards and 3 steals while Thompson and Jordan Heading each scored 9. Parks finished with 8 while Dwight Ramos and CJ Perez chipped in 7 and 4 markers, respectively.