The Philippine national men’s basketball team may have just kissed its medal hopes goodbye after yielding to a superior Atletas All-Stars of Lithuania, 91-80, in the 2017 William Jones Cup on Friday at Taipei Peace International Basketball Hall.
With the loss, Gilas Pilipinas settled for fourth place with a 4-3 card with two games left on its schedule.
With Canada, Lithuania and South Korea–teams which beat the Philippines–in the top three, it’s now a long shot for Gilas Pilipinas to end up with a medal after the tournament.
Mike Myers and Kiefer Ravena scored 14 points apiece to lead Gilas Pilipinas. RR Pogoy and Matthew Wrigght also made 13 markers each, as Carl Bryan Cruz finished with 10 points.
Gilas Pilipinas got off to a hot start but failed to sustain it against the Lithuanians. The Philippines got off to a 12-5 start thanks to Pogoy’s two triples.
Cruz also made two three-pointers in the opening period as Gilas Pilipinas held a 22-17 lead to end the quarter.
But Lithuania asserted its might in the second quarter, with Edvinas Seskus, who had 19 first-half points, going unstoppable in offense to ignite a 15-4 run that put his club ahead by 10, 42-32.
Gilas Pilipinas trailed by as many as 20 points, 70-50, in the third quarter. The Philippines managed to trim it to just 10, 74-64, in the final frame after a run sparked by Jio Jalalon.
But the Lithuanians responded with seven unanswered points to regain control of the game.
Gilas Pilipinas tangle with India on Saturday and Iran on Sunday to round up its campaign.