BULACAN, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas wrapped up its FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers campaign on an anticlimactic note.
The Philippines saw its four-game winning streak halted after a heartbreaking 91-90 loss to Jordan in its final game despite an offensive masterclass from Justin Brownlee at the Philippine Arena on Monday, February 27.
Brownlee erupted for 41 points and took over in their searing second-half comeback from a 25-point deficit, 16-41, but the Filipinos failed to get the job done in the endgame.
The Philippines wasted multiple chances to wrest the lead from the visitors, including a pair of bungled free throws by Scottie Thompson with 30 seconds remaining.
Stellar throughout with 9 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists, Thompson muffed both of his foul shots as the Jordanians held on to sweep their two-game road trip and end the Asian Qualifiers with a 6-4 record.
Gilas Pilipinas forced a stop on Ahmad Alhamarsheh for a last crack at the victory but witnessed Ray Parks miss a potential game-winner.
“Credit to our guys for not giving up. We still clawed back and we gave ourselves a chance to win the ballgame,” said head coach Chot Reyes even as the Philippines fell to 6-4.
Dar Tucker posted 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Freddy Ibrahim fired 19 points for the hot-shooting Falcons, who built a commanding lead after draining 11 of their first 17 three-pointers for a scintillating 65% clip.
Veteran forward Zaid Abbas gave Jordan its biggest advantage of the game at 41-16 in the second quarter and they entered the break up 60-41.
But Brownlee – who also finished with 12 rebounds and 3 assists – refused to go down without a fight and unloaded 17 points in the third quarter to help the Filipinos trim their deficit to 64-70 at the end of the period.
The Barangay Ginebra import outscored the entire Jordan crew in the third frame as the Falcons got contained to just 10 points in the quarter.
Continuing his scoring tear, Brownlee then scattered 12 points in the fourth period, including the jumper that made it 90-91 with a 1:30 minutes left.
Things, though, went downhill for the Philippines since.
Gilas Pilipinas missed three straight potential go-ahead triples from Parks, Brownlee, and Dwight Ramos before Thompson fumbled at the line.
Jamie Malonzo chalked up 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals in the loss, Jordan Heading chimed in 9 points and 4 assists, while Parks tallied 8 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds.
Ramos netted 7 points and 6 rebounds as the only player to see action in all of the Philippines’ 10 games in the Asian Qualifiers.
Jordan 91 – Tucker 22, Ibrahim 19, Z. Abbass 10, Bzai 9, Hawwas 8, Alhamarsheh 8, Alhendi 6, Hussein 5, H. Abbass 2, Alnajdawi 2.
Philippines 90 – Brownlee 41, Malonzo 11, Thompson 9, Heading 9, Parks 8, Ramos 7, Perez 4, Fajardo 1, Amos 0, K. Ravena 0.
Quarters: 33-14, 60-41, 70-64, 91-90.
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