FIBA Asia Cup: Late comeback not enough as Lebanon overpowers Gilas

Gilas Pilipinas’ fourth quarter comeback attempt fell short as Lebanon was simply too much for the nationals, taking a 95-80 win on Wednesday in the two countries’ FIBA Asia Cup 2022 opener at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Lebanon overpowered the Philippines, 57-31 in the second and third quarters, building enough cushion to pull off the win in Group D.

The Lebanese first used a 9-1 second quarter start to seize the lead, before Jonathan Arledge had seven in a 13-3 spurt in the third frame as his side took a 67-51 cushion.

Gilas previously took the first period as SJ Belangel and Ray Parks, Jr. had impressive opening quarters, combining for 15 points.

After falling down by as much as 21 points, the nationals then tried to make it more competitive in the fourth quarter, going on a 16-4 run to pull within 74-83 halfway into the final period.

But Hayk Gyokchyan provided the finishing touches for Lebanon, eventually wounding up with 19 points on an efficient 6-of-8 field goal shooting while making 4-of-5 from three-point area.

Amid a shooting struggle, Wael Arakji still managed to put up 20 points, while Arledge chipped in 19 markers along with six rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.

Belangel finished with a team-high 17 points while Parks added 15 points and four rebounds in his first game back in a national team jersey since the 2017 SEA Games.

Carl Tamayo also contributed 15 points on 60 percent shooting.

Head coach Chot Reyes’ troops will hit the floor once again on Saturday against India, which lost to New Zealand earlier, 47-100. photo

Levi Joshua Jr Verora

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