Gilas salvages seventh place in FIBA Asia Cup

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Gilas Pilipinas scored a 75-70 come-from-behind win over Jordan to finish seventh in the 2017 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asia Cup on Sunday at the Beirut Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in Beirut, Lebanon.

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Despite falling to a 65-70 deficit late in the last canto, the nationals didn’t give up as they unleashed a blitzing 10-0 bomb and played solid defense allowing them to bounce back from two previous frustrating losses – against Korea (86-118) and Lebanon (87-106).

The Filipinos were ahead by 65-59 after Raymond Almazan’s basket with only 5:24 left in the game, but the Jordanians made the game look interesting as they dropped an 11-0 bomb capped by Mousa Alawadi’s basket that gave Jordan a 70-65 cushion with 1:47 ticks to go.

A free throw by June Mar Fajardo with 1:27 left, followed up by a three-point shot by Terrence Romeo, a jumper by Japeth Aguilar and two free throws of Matthew Wright put the Filipinos on top by 73-70 with only 13 seconds remaining.

Roger Pogoy, then, stole the possession from Jordan and sealed the win with a jumper to peg the final count with only six ticks left in the game.

Romeo and Wright had 13 points apiece for Gilas, while Carl Bryan Cruz contributed nine points.

The last time the Philippines suffered a worst finish was in 2009, when the PBA-backed Philippine team of coach Yeng Guiao ended at eighth place in Tianjin, China.

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