Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Gilas Philippines suffers upset vs Palestine in FIBA Asia Championship 2015 (VIDEO)
The Gilas Pilipinas got off to a terrible start in their quest for an Olympics ticket as Gilas Pilipinas was upset by the debuting Palestine, 75-73, in Group B action of the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship on Wednesday, September 23 at the Changsha Social Work College Gymnasium in Changsha, China.
The Philippine national men’s basketball team failed to have a good start to its campaign, suffering a huge upset against Palestine, 75-73, in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship in CSWDC Dayun in Changsha, China.
Gilas Pilipinas led by as much as 15 points but faltered in the second half to hand Palestine, a first-timer in FIBA Asia, a shocking win.
With Andray Blatche leading the charge, Gilas Pilipinas established a 15-point lead, 29-14, as the Filipinos got their rhythm after Palestine put up a tough fight early.
But Palestine didn’t let Gilas Pilipinas pull away far. The Filipinos saw their lead trimmed from time to time with Sani Sakakini and Jamal Abu Shamala providing all-around presence for Palestine.
After a JC Intal triple that gave Gilas Pilipinas a 45-33 lead, Palestine went on a furious closing run in the second period. Sakakini led a 7-0 run that closed Palestine’s gap to just five, 45-40, at halftime.
Palestine continued giving the Filipinos a hard time in the second half, with Sakakini doing the damage. Palestine broke the five-point barrier after coming within four, 59-55, following an and-one play at the end of the third frame.
Sakakini buried a jumper to open the fourth period as Palestine finally came within a basket, 59-57.
But timely triples by Terrence Romeo and JC Intal, as well as an and-one by Blatche, gave Gilas Pilipinas a breathing room, 71-62, with over three minutes left.
However, Palestine had one run left in its bag. A 10-0 run fueled by two triples from Abu Shamala gave Palestine the lead, 72-71, with 1:34 remaining.
Blatche scored a putback to give Gilas Pilipinas back the lead, but Sakakini completed an and-one play to put Palestine ahead, 75-73, with 15 seconds left.
Gilas Pilipinas had the chance to recover but the Filipinos failed to hoist a shot as time expired.
Blatche finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead the way for the Filipinos. Romeo added 11 markers while Jayson Castro chipped in 10.
Abu Shamala top-scored for Palestine with 26 points and 15 boards while Sakakini scored 22 points and 14 boards for an impressive showing for Palestine.
Gilas will have a chance to redeem themselves when they play Hong Kong on Thursday, September 23 at 9:30 am, and Kuwait on Friday as they try to advance past the group stage.
Hong Kong opened up group stage play with an 87-50 win over Kuwait.