Saturday, August 30, 2014

2014 FIBA WORLD CUP: Gilas Pilipinas comes up short as Croatia takes 81-78 win in OT (VIDEO)

Gilas-Pilipinas dropped its first game in the FIBA World Cup after suffering an 81-78 overtime loss to Croatia on Saturday evening in Seville, Spain.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored a team-high 26 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the field to lead the Croatian national team. Andray Blatche had a game-high 28, while Jeff Chan scored 17 markers to spearhead the Philippines' attack.

Down by eight, 57-49, to start the fourth period Gilas cut the deficit to five after Ranidel de Ocampo buried a three. Bojan Bogdanovic answered with a triple of his own but de Ocampo glided in the lane for a layup to hit right back. Oliver Lafayette nailed a jumper from the wing to push Croatia’s lead back up to eight, 62-54, 8:32 left in the game.

Andray Blatche was fouled on a three-point attempt on the other end but only made two, making the count 62-56, still in favor of Croatia. Bogdanovic drilled another long jumper to keep his team ahead by eight, 64-56, 5:43 remaining in the quarter.

On the next trips down, Jeff Chan knocked down a three and Marc Pingris scored inside for Gilas to cut the lead to three, 64-61, with 4:01 left in the fourth. After an empty possession by Croatia, Blatche nailed a triple, 3:17 remaining, to tie the game 64-all.

Luka Zoric made a split from the line to put Croatia up by one, but Chan made three freethrows to give Gilas its first lead of the game, 67-66, 2:49 left in the period. After a miss from Bogdanovic, Blatche made a layup to push Gilas’ lead to three, 69-66, with 2:20 left in regulation.

Off a timeout, Croatia took the lead again after a Krunoslav Simon trey and a bucket from Dario Saric, with 1:33 remaining. Gilas failed to score on the next play but forced a turnover and Castro knocked down on a floater, 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter, to knot the score 71-all. Croatia missed right after and Gilas had one final chance to seal the game but Chan missed on a three as the game headed into overtime.

Bogdanovic opened the extra session with an easy deuce to put Croatia up 73-71. Blatche scored on a fall away jumper to tie the game again, 73-all, 2:48 left in the first overtime. In the following play, Croatia forced a turnover on Gilas but made an error of their own to give the ball right back to Philippines. Saric fouled Blatche on a three-point attempt to give Gilas a chance to take the lead. Two freethrows from Blatche put Philippines up by two, 75-73, 2:03 left but Ante Tomic banked one in for Croatia to knot the score again. 

Norwood was called for a foul as Bogdanovic hit two freethrows to give Croatia the two-point lead, 77-75, 41 seconds remaining on the clock. Bgodanovic again made two freethrows, 19 ticks left, to give Croatia a four-point margin but Blatche nailed a triple seconds later to inch Gilas within a single point, 79-78. Philippines immediately sent Damjan Rudez to the line with 6.1 ticks left on the clock as the Croatian converted two charities to give his team a 81-78 lead. Castro had a chance to send the game into another overtime but missed an attempt from downtown.

The Croatians started the game hot and raced off to a 12-4 lead behind six points from Dario Saric. Andray Blatche struggled early from the field, only hitting one of his first seven shots. Croatia extended their cushion to 13 after a triple from Bojan Bogdanovic and two freethrows from Krunoslav Simon.

The drought by Gilas finally halted with a Marc Pingris bucket but was quickly answered on the other end with a pair of freethrows from Bogdanovic, giving Croatia a 19-6 advantage. After a few empty possessions for Team Philippines, Paul Lee scored on a layup to trim the deficit to 11 points. Saric responded with a jumper on the other end as Croatia went ahead 23-9 after the first quarter.

Pingris scored four consecutive points for Gilas in the second frame but Croatia still held a 13-point margin, 26-13. Junemar Fajardo scored inside off a pass from Jimmy Alapag to cut the lead to 11. After a basket from Croatia's Damjan Rudez, Blatche scored on a layup and Jeff Chan nailed a trey to inch Gilas closer, 33-22.

Damir Markota pushed Croatia's advantage back to 13, but Gabe Norwood scored off an Alapag miss with Gilas still down by 35-24. In the ensuing plays, Team Philippines staged a late rally as Alapag completed a four-point play and Chan knocked down another three to inch Gilas within six points, 37-31, to the first half.
Bogdanovic led with nine points as Croatia shot 46-percent from the field in the first 24 minutes. Meanwhile Chan, Blatche, and Pingris had six each for Gilas.

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