Gilas Pilipinas bowed to Chinese-Taipei, 84-79, to settle for second spot in Group A and advance into the next round with a 2-1 slate in the 27th FIBA-Asia Men’s Basketball Championship at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The host team squandered a 13-point lead at the end of the third period as it failed to stop an 8-point run by the Chinese that cut down the deficit to 63-68 with 7:34 minutes to go.
After Marcus Douthit hit a pair of charities, Lin Chih-Cheh fired back-to-back baskets to move to just one point, 69-70.
“I should have done better rotating the players. But it did not go our way,” said Gilas Pilipinas Coach Chot Reyes.
Even with the setback, Reyes remained confident his team can make it to the quarterfinals.
“Placing second or third in our Group does not really mean anything. What is more important is the next round. We have to perform well in the next round of the elimination,” Reyes said.
Chinese-Taipei topped Group A with 3-0 record followed by the Philippines with 2-1. Saudi Arabia and Jordan were still playing as of this posting to determine the third and last slot in Group A.
Larry Fonacier paced Gilas Pilipinas with 21 points, Douthit scored 16, Ranidel de Ocampo 13, Jason Castro 11 and Jimmy Alapag and Gabe Norwood, 9 each.