MANILA – Gilas Pilipinas continues to break a lot of their fans’ hearts after bowing down to Qatar, 77-68, Friday night at Hwaseong Sports Complex gymnasium.
The loss of the nationals earned them a must-win game against South Korea who is looking to avenge.
Qatar’s Mohd Yousuf Mohamed and Boney Harold Watson lifted the team forcing Gilas on a do-or-die game against South Korea.
“I’m not worried about who we are playing,” the mercurial national mentor Chot Reyes said. “I’m more worried about my team. We have to find out who is willing to play.”
Another defeat will give the nationals a 0-2 win loss card going into the quarterfinals.
“We gambled taking the three-point shot,” said Qatar coach Vasileios Fragkias.
Mohamed contributed 19 points and eight rebounds, with a couple of triples made in the early minutes of the second half. This gave the Qataris an opportunity to own the floor and break away from the Filipinos with a 19-0 run.
Gary David gave back the Gilas the momentum a little too late given that they were already scoreless for about nine minutes.
Gilas Captain Jimmy Alapag, the personification of the “puso” battlecry of the team, gave the country hope after chipping in three shots from beyond the arc to bring the team closer with 56-51.
However, Erfan Ali Saleed dominated Marcus Douthit in the last quarter to give his team 68-59 advantage.
“Our big guy, Douthit, just quit,” said Reyes. “I don’t know what happened. Towards the end of the first half, he was at the dugout watching a music video. He was the last to leave the dugout. He had a very bad body language. And Qatar pounced on him.”
He added, “If Marcus doesn’t want to play, we will just play all-Filipino. It is useless to use a player who doesn’t want to play. If he has some issues, I don’t know what it is. I didn’t even scold him. I didn’t even say anything to him in the first half. I have no idea. If he wants to go home, he can go home. The players are really upset.”
Reyes also noted that some players in his team looked like they were not ready to play.
The national team missed a lot of chances. Add to that the number of turnovers that they had, allowing Qatar to earn 25 points.