Gilas Pilipinas struggled to find its pace all throughout the game as it lost to South Korea, 72-83, in the 39th William R. Jones Cup men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at the Taipei Peace International Basketball Hall in Taiwan.
The Philippines could not sustain its running game—evident in its previous wins—as the national basketball team suffered its second defeat in five outings, putting its title-retention bid in danger.
Michael Myers put up a huge double-double of 18 points and 17 rebounds while Jiovanni Jalalon also notched 18 markers in 13 minutes of action off the bench.
Matthew Wright, who scored 15 points in the last outing, was held to a measly four points as he missed all his seven attempts in the rainbow territory.
Gilas outworked South Korea in the rebounding department, 40-28, but shot a woeful 1-of-26 from beyond the arc.
Sekeun Oh and Lee Junghyun finished with 14 points apiece for South Korea, which improved to 4-1 en route to joining Canada and Lithuania on the top spot.
South Korea hit 5-of-8 from two-point range and eight free throws to post a 20-16 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Koreans unleashed a 9-2 run to open the second period and lead by as much as 11 points, 29-18, but the Filipinos answered back with a 17-7 exchange before suffering a 37-42 deficit heading into halftime.
Riding a good start once again in the final half, South Korea erected a 49-39 lead then saw its advantage balloon to 16 points, 63-47, at the 1:57 mark of the third frame.
Myers punctuated a 10-3 rally with an emphatic slam off a missed jumper from Stanhardinger as the PH 5 closed to within four, 69-73, approaching the last two minutes of the contest.
But the 6’7 forward Oh drove for back-to-back layups to break the silence for the Koreans and secure the crucial victory for his team.
The men of national head coach Chot Reyes go for a bounce-back win when they tangle with Iraq today at 5 p.m.