MANILA — After making history with its first World Cup win in four decades, Gilas Pilipinas slumped in its worst basketball finish in the Asian Games.
China survived win a 78-71 win over Gilas during the 17th Asian Games on Monday afternoon at Hwaseong Sports Gymnasium.
This left the nationals with the only change of landing in the seventh place against Mongolia. The country has not won the gold medal for more than five decades.
Gilas started off well even without the presence of key players Jimmy Alapag and Marc Pingris. Unfortunately, towards the end they surrendered to China resulting to their lowest finish in the Games.
Prior to the 17th Asian Games, the country’s lowest finish was at sixth place in Thailand (1966) and in China (2010).
“The guys put the best effort out there possible,” said Gabe Norwood. “We came up a little short again.”
China led by as much as 19, but Gilas was able to trim it down to four points at 66-70 with LA Tenorio’s three-pointer. However, the Chinese squad rallied to take the lead at 78-68.
According to Gilas Coach Chot Reyes, China had a good defense during the game. However, he said that a questionable call against them helped in their opponent’s run.
“We were able to adapt to their man-to-man,” said Reyes. “They did a good job switching to a zone to stop our comeback. When LA hit that three-pointer to cut the lead to four, the ref called a questionable foul.”
Aside from this, Reyes also expressed his frustrations on the officiating.
“When we played Korea, the refs were from Iran and China. When we played China, the referees were from Korea and Iran. When we played Iran, the refs were from China and Korea and [Alamiri]. I find it odd that they are the same referees when there are other referees.”
China is now looking at the fifth place slot on Wednesday against Qatar.