Gilas defeats Kazakhstan but drops out of contention

Jane Bracher

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Gilas defeats Kazakhstan but drops out of contention
Gilas Pilipinas will not advance to the Asian Games semis after failing to win by at least 11 points for a superior quotient

MANILA, Philippines – It was a win that will not count. 

A defensive-minded Gilas Pilipinas shut the door on Kazakhstan, 67-65, but will not advance to the semis after failing to win by at least 11 points in Group H quarterfinals action of the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea on Sunday, September 28. 

The Philippines beat Kazakhstan by just two points points, which is not enough for a superior quotient in case of a 3-way tie at 1-2 between the Philippines, Qatar and Kazakhstan. Gilas needed to win by at least 11 points and hope that South Korea will defeat Qatar later in the day in order to advance.

Gilas blew an 18-point third quarter lead before the Kazakhs, who never led in the ballgame, showed the door to Gilas, piling up on points in the fourth. 

The Philippines held a precarious 11-point 65-54 lead heading down the stretch which was briefly sliced to 9 points via a Kazakhstan jumper before Marcus Douthit converted on the other end, 67-56, with 1:58 to play. 

But a pair of Kazakhstan free throws took them to within 9, 67-58, and a subsequent jump hook made it just a 7-point affair, 67-60, with 1:26 remaining. 

The Kazakhs then inched closer via endgame free throws forcing the Philippines to take matters into its own hands as Douthit, with 14.6 ticks left, scored a basket into Kazakhstan’s goal to tie the game to send it into overtime, which the referees disallowed.

The Philippines snapped its 3-game losing slide against Iran, Qatar and South Korea but the win effectively will go for naught as the bow out of medal contention 

Naturalized center Douthit, who was benched during the South Korea game for “disciplinary action,” finally saw action and wound up with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks.

Jimmy Alapag, playing his final international tournament, finished with 11 points while LA Tenorio added 8 markers. Japeth Aguilar and Gary David had 7 points apiece.

Power forward Marc Pingris did not play in this game owing to a right ankle injury, according to reports. Team captain Alapag, who will retire from international competition after the Asian Games, played his final game in a Gilas jersey through a right calf strain. 

Although struggling to convert on the offensive end, the Philippines wasted no time suffocating the Kazakhs defensively before the nationals found their groove in the second quarter to take a 35-21 halftime advantage.

Gilas had all but silenced Kazakhstan’s gunners as the nationals built its biggest lead of the game at 18 points, 50-32, on an Alapag 3-point play with 2:55 in the third. But the Kazakhs took a 5-point swing before ending that frame up by 52-39.

But the Philippines’ fourth quarter waterloo plagued them anew as they failed to close out strong, unable to score for the last 2:07 seconds of the game. They are relegated now to the classification phase for 5th to 8th placing.

The Philippines placed sixth in the 2010 Asian Games. –

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