FIBA Asia Cup

Gilas Pilipinas crashes out of FIBA Asia Cup, misses Top 8 after Japan blowout

Delfin Dioquino
Gilas Pilipinas crashes out of FIBA Asia Cup, misses Top 8 after Japan blowout

LOPSIDED. Ray Parks and Gilas Pilipinas fall prey to Japan.

FIBA

Gilas Pilipinas misses the FIBA Asia Cup quarterfinals for the first time in 15 years as Japan cruises to a 21-point win to advance

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas’ woes continue to pile up.

The Philippines failed to reach the FIBA Asia Cup quarterfinals for the first time in 15 years after a 102-81 loss to Japan in their knockout playoff at the Istora Stadium in Indonesia on Tuesday, July 19.

Just two months after falling short of gold in the Southeast Asia Games, the Nationals crashed to their worst Asia Cup finish since they wound up at ninth place in 2007.

“We’re very sorry that we’ve disappointed a lot of our countrymen, our fellow Filipinos,” said embattled Philippines head coach Chot Reyes.

NBA player Yuta Watanabe proved his mettle by chalking up 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists in just 19 minutes as the Akatsuki Five beat the Filipinos in the Asian championships for the first time since 2003.

The Philippines had won five straight games against Japan in the continental showpiece.

But Watanabe led the way in busting that streak as he scored 6 of his 12 first-half points in a 14-2 run that turned a 5-5 deadlock to 19-7 lead and paved the way for Japan to mount a 50-34 halftime advantage.

Not even the exit of Watanabe after he tweaked his ankle with seven minutes left in the third quarter changed the complexion of the game as the Japanese stretched their lead to as big as 28 points.

With Watanabe out, Japan turned to guard Yuki Togashi and naturalized big man Luke Evans, who hit timely buckets in the last two quarters that prevented the Philippines from staging a comeback.

Togashi chalked up 18 points on a 5-of-7 clip from deep on top of 6 assists, while Evans delivered 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 steal.

Ray Parks churned out 16 points and 3 assists to lead Gilas Pilipinas, which fully came apart in the fourth quarter where it trailed 71-99 at one point.

Kiefer Ravena backstopped Parks with 15 points and Carl Tamayo added 10 points.

Yudai Nishida and Yutaroh Suda chimed in 15 and 14 points, respectively, as Japan set up a quarterfinal date with defending champion Australia.

The Scores

Japan 102 – Togashi 18, Evans 17, Watanabe 15, Nishida 15, Suda 14, Harimoto 9, Yoshii 7, Sato 5, Inoue 2, Kawamura 0, Tominaga 0, Toews 0.

Philippines 81 – Parks 16, K. Ravena 15, Tamayo 10, Belangel 9, Erram 7, Quiambao 6, Abarrientos 5, Navarro 4,  Lopez 3, T. Ravena 2, Chiu 2, Abando 2.

Quarters: 32-16, 50-34, 77-63, 102-81.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.