Ariel John Edu of Gilas going head to head against Sudan as the Philippines loses its hope for placement in the Paris Olympics. Photo courtesy of FIBA Philippines.
After Gilas lost against Italy last Tuesday, they continued to remain winless with a 0-4 slate, hacking out a 68-87 loss against South Sudan in the classification round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup held yesterday at Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
This upset also means that Gilas will no longer have the opportunity to be hailed as the Best Asian team in the qualifiers while it also ended the Filipinos’ hopes to compete in the Paris Olympics.
Jordan Clarkson continued to make an effort and led the way with 24 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Together with Dwight Ramos who chipped in 20 points, double-double 12 rebounds, two assists and one steal.
AJ Edu also contributed 12 markers, 10 of which he tallied in the first half alongside game-high 14 boards and two assists.
The Bright Stars showed consistency till the endgame as they capitalized on the momentum and scored triples to secure their win.
Gilas opened the game slowly, as South Sudan showed their shooting prowess in the first half, while Gilas struggled to put up points onboard.
The Filipinos were able to trim the deficit to 10, with Ramos executing an 8-0 blitz, 50-60 in the third frame.
As they were looking to turn their game into their favor, the Philippines racked up six straight points to open the fourth and was only trailing by four after Edu found center Kai Sotto wide open for a dunk, which caused the delight of the Filipino fans watching inside the coliseum.
Gilas failed to reach the leading score due to a 17-point game from Carlik Jones, while Nuni Omot added 13 of his own.
Gilas will try to win their final match as they will be facing Kyle Anderson-led China on September 2, 8pm still in the same venue.
Quarter scores: 34-17, 51-33, 60-50, 87-68
South Sudan 87- Jones 17, Omot 13, Deng 13, Shayok 12, Gabriel 11, Kacuol 8, Kuany 8, Acuoth 3, Dech 2, Maluach 0.
Philippines 68- Clarkson 24, Ramos 20, Edu 12, Sotto 8, Malonzo 4, Ravena 0, Thompson 0, Fajardo 0, Pogoy 0, Perez 0, Abando 0, Aguilar 0.