Gilas Pilipinas battles back from a 15-point second half deficit behind the hot shooting of Jimmy “Mighty Mouse” Alapag and the athletic play of Gabe “Mr. President” Norwood but falters in the last few seconds of their game against Argentina. This is our third defeat in as many games, 81-85.
Gilas Pilipinas faced another heartbreaking event, this time pushing world no. 3 Argentina to the limit before falling short in the final seconds in the FIBA World Cup of Basketball at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes San Pablo in Spain Monday night.
Argentina defeated Philippines, 85-81, but the Filipinos again gained the respect of their opponents after repeatedly threatening an upset win over the high rated South Americans.
Jimmy Alapag had his biggest game in the tournament, knocking down 5 of 7 3-point attempts to finish with 15 points. Ranidel De Ocampo also nailed 4 other triples for a total score of 18 points.
It was a great start for the Philippines, moving the ball effectively and baffling Argentina with perfect rotation in the opening quarter.
Two successive putbacks by Andray Blatche quickly put Gilas ahead, 4-0. De Ocampo and Jayson Castro started raining threes to widen the gap to 17-7.
Blatche was later benched after picking two fouls, but this didn’t stop the Filipinos from doing damage as they closed the quarter with a 25-22 lead.
Argentina pushed harder in the 2nd quarter, with Pablo Prigioni connecting from the outside, even as Marc Pingris and De Ocampo bought some baskets for Gilas.
Things are getting intense between the teams, with Blatche and Nocioni going at it.
–Argentina is up 48-41 with 8:17 left in the quarter.
The moment of truth came with less than a minute left–Gilas had the ball down just 2 points, and head coachVincent Reyes had called timeout. But Jayson William went up for a 3-pointer which seemed to be partially blocked. He came back down with the ball and was called for a travel.
The Philippines will now rest on Tuesday, then play Puerto Rico on Wednesday and Senegal on Thursday. Friday is designated a rest day before knockout play starts next Saturday, September 6. Gilas will have to win its final two games to have any chance of getting into knockout play.
We need to win our next two games to advance to the next round. Still, Congratulations Gilas Pilipinas you make the Philippines proud!