Asian Games

PH off to tough start in Asian Para Games wheelchair basketball

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PH off to tough start in Asian Para Games wheelchair basketball 

WHEELCHAIR BALL SCRAMBLE. The Philippines' John Rey Escalante (center) and Afghanistan's Asadullah Abdul Rahimzai (right) scramble for the loose ball in wheelchair basketball action in the Asianu00a0Parau00a0Games.


The Philippine wheelchair basketball team suffers back-to-back losses at the start of its Asian Para Games campaign

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines got off to a painful start in the 4th Asian Para Games in Hangzhou, China.  

The national wheelchair basketball team absorbed a heartbreaking 53-49 loss to Afghanistan on Friday, October 20, just a day after losing a one-sided affair to host China, 83-34, at the Hangzhou Olympic Center Gymnasium. 

Known as the Philippine Warriors, the national squad came out fighting in their second assignment against the Afghans, inching within a point, 49-50, with 1:32 to go on Kenneth Christopher Tapia’s drive. 

But that turned out to be the Filipinos’ last basket as Sayed Wasim Sadat and Fazal Aziz Malik combined for the last 3 points in the waning seconds as the Afghans bounced back from their lopsided 91-33 setback against Iran. 

Tapia led the Philippines with 22 points, while John Rey Escalante chipped in 14. Big man Alfie Cabañog, closely marked anew, got limited to 8 points.

Arsalah Afzali proved to be a huge thorn for the Warriors with one clutch basket after another to pace Afghanistan with 20 points, while bull-strong Asadulla Abdulla Rahimzai added 10 points. 

Poor free throw shooting added to the Warriors’ woes, missing 23 of 32 attempts for a measly 28% clip, in contrast to their rivals’ 60% (6-of-10) clip.

The Philippines, mentored by Vernon Perea, will try to snap its skid against Southeast Asian tormentor Thailand – which fell to China, 70-65, in the other group match – at 11 am on Saturday, October 21. –

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