Gilas Pilipinas was unlucky after losing to Jordan-A, 84-74, in the knockout semifinal of the 2021 King Abdullah Cup early Saturday morning (Philippine time), at Prince Hamzah Hall in Amman, Jordan.
Angelo Kouame was the only player for Gilas to score in double digits, scoring 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
Following a 12-point loss to the same opponent on Friday, the Filipinos got right to work and quickly grabbed an 8-2 lead.
The Jordanians, however, answered with a stunning 24-3 run to go up 15 points, 26-11, late in the first quarter.
With less than five minutes left in the game, Gilas managed to cut the lead to just 4, 70-66, after trailing by double digits for the majority of the game.
With only a minute remaining, the Jordanians extended their lead to nine points, 79-70, and put Gilas Pilipinas away for good.
For Gilas, Jordan Heading had 9 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds, while Ravena and Dave Ildefonso each had 8 points.
Jordan’s Ahmad Al Dwairi unleashed 19 points, 16 rebounds, and 7 assists, while Cameron Forte added 19 points.
Gilas still has an opportunity to end its King’s Cup campaign on a positive note when it takes on Tunisia for third place on Sunday, August 1, Manila time.
In their elimination match, the Filipinos outsmarted African superpower Tunisia, 74-73, but Gilas Pilipinas needed an overtime to win.
Thirdy Ravena’s late free throw and Ange Kouame’s key contributions late in the game were instrumental in Gilas’ win.
With barely three seconds left, naturalized center Kouame put the game away with a game-winning block on Achref Gannouni after Ravena split his two free shots with nine seconds left.
In this match, Ravena finished with seven points, three rebounds, two assists, and two blocks, while Kouame finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and five blocks.
With 11 points, three rebounds, two assists, two swats, and a steal, Dwight Ramos continued his all-around brilliance, while SJ Belangel scored 10 points and four assists. With eight points, Isaac Go pumped up the bench.
In order for Gilas to win anew against Tunisia, the team must pull away early in the match. Key players, as well as bench players, must be aggressive from the get go to bring home the bronze medal in the aforementioned basketball cup hosted by Jordan.
Gilas Pilipinas 74 – Kouame 20, Heading 9, Ravena 8, Ildefonso 8, Ramos 6, Belangel 6, Tamayo 6, Baltazar 5, Go 4, Ma. Nieto 2, Suerte 0, Chiu 0.
Jordan A 84 – Al Dwairi 19, Forte 19, Mustafa 17, Abu Hawwas 14, Bzai 9, Alhamarsheh 3, Abbas 3, Shaher Hussein 0.
Quarters: 28-15, 44-34, 63-56, 84-74.