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Gilas Pilipinas saw its disappointing campaign in the FIBA Asia Challenge end in frustration fashion after losing 119-105 to Jordan yesterday at the Twelve Thousand People Sport Hall in Tehran, Iran.
Gilas failed to recover from a 24-5 deficit before watching the Jordanese cagers balloon their lead to at least 30 points in the second half to finish its stint with a 1-4 record, thus missing a spot in the quarterfinals.
The Nationals were eliminated as early as late Tuesday after India pulled off a stunning 60-54 win over China and Jordan posting a 109-83 rout of Taiwan.
The first tournament of the all-amateur Gilas squad began on the wrong foot with three straight losses to India, Taiwan and China, before registering its only win of the campaign against Kazakhstan.
Gilas officials will have their work cut out once the players return home to assess the team’s performance.
The team went to the Iranian capital without a naturalized player while missing some top stars in Kiefer Ravena, Bobby Ray Parks and Jio Jalalon for various reasons.
Gilas opted to return to the all-amateur program in hopes of building a strong team for the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
Von Pessumal scored majority of his 30 points in the second half on 9-of-12 triples. Mike Tolomia had his best showing of the tourney with 19 points while Mac Belo completed his impressive showing with 17 points on 6-of-12 from the floor.
Naturalized player Dar Tucker, who had stints in the NBA D-League and overseas, sizzled for Jordan with 37 points while Mohammed Hussein added 26 points and 13 rebounds.
Hussein, however, nearly triggered a brawl in the final second with a shoulder tackle on a sprinting Ed Daquioag, much to the chagrin of several Gilas players.