Gilas Pilipinas got their first heartbreaking loss in the in the FIBA Basketball World Cup but not after giving 16th-ranked Croatia a huge scare in overtime, 81-78 on Saturday in Seville, Spain.
Gilas Pilipinas, ranked 34th in FIBA, suffered from a 14-point deficit, 23-9 after the first quarter. But the smaller Filipinos rallied against the taller Croats and managed to bring it closer 37-31, at the half.
Jeff Chan buried a buzzer-beating trey as Philippines comes within six, 31-37, vs Croatia. at the half. Go Gilas! pic.twitter.com/BhsUXz37fR
— PBAonTV5 (@PBAonTV5) August 30, 2014
Gilas kept it a close game in the 2nd half with local heroes Marc Pingris and Jimmy Alapag. A 3-pointer from Jeff Chan coming off his 3 free throws gave Philippines a taste of their first lead, 67-66.
Croatia took the lead back after getting 4 straight points, 71-69. But with 35 seconds remaining, Jayson Castro tied the game with his jump shot sending the game to overtime.
Andray Blatche snatched a 3-pointer to close the gap at 79-78 after Croatia got 4-point advantage from the free throws of Croatian superstar Bogdan Bogdanovic.
Two more free throws from Damjan Rudez of Croatia gave Gilas Pilipinas their first loss.
But despite the heartbreaking loss, netizens took to social media to express their undying support to the national team and appreciate the team’s effort and hardwork.
“Go Gilas” became the top trending topic on Twitter with netizens praising the Philippine team playing with all their hearts.
Gilas Pilipinas will face Greece on September 1 at 2am, Manila time.