Gilas falls to South Korea as Asian Games medal hope fades
MANILA, Philippines – It was an all too familiar situation for the Philippines, whose hearts have been repeatedly broken over the years as the curse of South Korea returned once more.
South Korea mounted a comeback in front of their home fans to virtually oust continental rivals Philippines from gold medal contention via a pulsating 97-95 win on Saturday, September 27 in Group H quarterfinals action at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
Yang Hee-jong hit the big baskets when it counted most to complete his team’s comeback from a 16-point grave. He mounted a solo 5-point swing highlighted by a dagger three-pointer, which put the Koreans ahead for good, 93-89, with 31.8 seconds left on the clock
The breaks would not go Gilas’ way after that as Korea put the game out of reach on a pair of free throws, 95-89, with 10 seconds left. Gilas fought until the end as LA Tenorio got a halfcourt heave to go to notch the final tally.
Team captain Jimmy Alapag, playing the final tournament of his international career, carried Gilas on his shoulders with 25 points - including 5 three-pointers - and 4 assists. Tenorio added 20 points while a hot-shooting Jeff Chan wound up with 16 markers.
TJ Moon led Korea with 38 points while Cho Sung-min contribued 17 points and Kim Tael-sul added 16.
"We tried every defense in the book, but their shooting was really good today. When we played man to man we were good," said coach Yoo Jae-hak.
Naturalized center Marcus Douthit, who was lambasted by head coach Chot Reyes following the loss to Qatar barely 24 hours prior, never saw action in the game.
The Philippines has not won a game in the quarterfinals and is currently on a 3-game losing slide after previously losing to Iran and Qatar. If Qatar defeats Kazakhstan later today, the Philippines will be officially eliminated.
The much-anticipated rematch of last year’s FIBA Asia Championships saw the heated foes engage in a classic shootout as Gilas sizzled from downtown with 15 triples.
South Korea was down by as much as 16 points, 68-52, midway in the third on a Ranidel de Ocampo three-pointer. But the hosts rallied back with a 15-2 counter-attack before ending the third down by 1, 72-71.
Both teams exchanged rallies in the fourth with Gilas erecting an 80-74 advantage which the gritty Koreans promptly erased and turned into a 82-86 edge with 4:10 to play courtesy of a basket from Cho Sung-min.
Alapag, however, kept Gilas in the game down the stretch. He made a difficult basket that tied the contest at 88-all with 2:28 to go. Tenorio later split from the line to momentarily shove Gilas ahead, 89-88, before Yang hit his key baskets. – Rappler.com