MANILA, Philippines–Saddled by turnovers and frosty shooting, Gilas Pilipinas fell to Angola, 80-70, for its second loss in the 2023 Fiba World Cup Sunday night.
Unable to make good on its promise to cut down its errors, the Philippines saw its hopes of advancing to the second round dented by the Black Antelopes, who cranked things up in the second half.
Jordan Clarkson had 21 points and seven assists, while AJ Edu chipped in nine more. Roger Pogoy and Dwight Ramos added eight each while CJ Perez seven in the losing effort before 12,784 fans at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Gilas Pilipinas enjoyed an 11-point edge in the second quarter but saw that advantage slowly get chipped away as Angola took over.
The Filipinos then put together one more desperate attempt, trimming a 15-point lead with over three minutes left to just five, 73-68, before Gerson Domingos hit a dagger triple off an assist from NBA big man Bruno Fernando with 47 ticks left.
Sunday’s loss should doubly hurt the Philippines as it was unable to match co-host Japan, which pulled off a comeback 98-88 victory against Finland in Okinawa.
The Akatsuki thus become the first Asian team to log a victory in the World Cup, meaning they’ve gotten a headstart in the race for the lone continental berth for the Paris Olympics.
Gerson Goncalves had 17 points to go with Domingos’ 15, while Fernando had 14 as Angola tabbed its first win in the tournament for a 1-1 record.
For Gilas to advance, it can only hope that the Angolans bow to the Dominican Republic, which upset Italy on Sunday for a 2-0 record in Group A, on Tuesday. That, however, will also require a victory against the No. 10-ranked Italians, who are looking to bounce back from a loss to the Caribbeans.
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