Group A Final Standings
Dominican Republic 3-0
MANILA – Italy simply proved too hot to handle for Team Gilas Pilipinas.
As if working like a well-oiled machine, Italy buried the Nationals with three-point daggers resulting in a 90-83 victory while dousing cold any hopes that Gilas Pilipinas nurtured of barging into the next round in the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup.
The Nationals came into the game greatly hoping to grab a 12-point victory but Italy proved unstoppable from beyond the perimeter by bombing away with 17 triples in all.
It was Italy’s second victory in three games while the Philippines absorbed its third straight loss in as many outings and out of contention for the next round.
A huge hometown crowd filled the Araneta Coliseum but their presence failed to stop Italy from raiing down daggers from beyond the arc that came down almost at will, like missiles.
Into the final five minutes of play, Italy buried its 17th three-point in the game that gave them an unassailable 88-71 edge.
Gilas mounted its final stand via a 13-2 run that closed the gap to within seven points, 81-88, entering the final two minutes of play.
They tried to push it nearer to within four points but Kiefer Ravena’s triple try on their next ball possession rimmed out.
Two more free throws from Italy and a Ravena lay-up sealed the game.
Italy took the half ahead by nine (9), 48-39. PH lead by three at the end of the first canto, 23-20.
In Gilas’ initial match against the Dominican Republic on opening day last Friday (25 August 2023), the Nationals suffered a defeat with a score of 80-87, as they lost momentum in the fourth quarter.
Some quarters argue that the outcome could have favored Gilas Pilipinas had not main man Jordan Clarkson fouled out in the final three minutes of play due to consecutive fouls.
Moving on to Gilas’ second game on Sunday (27 August 2023) against Angola, the Nationals took the lead after the first quarter with a score of 19-12.
However, they once again struggled to maintain a strong defense and effective offense in the next three quarters.
The home team even managed to build an 11-point lead at one point, but unfortunately, they ended up losing their second match.
The downturn for Team PH came when Angola scored three consecutive three-pointers midway in the final quarter, turning a close three-point game into a 15-point lead.
Angola never looked back from there. (ai/mnm)