by Waylon Galvez
Gilas Pilipinas Youth fell short against New Zealand as the Philippines sustained a tough 76-70 defeat against the Junoir Tall Blacks in the FIBA Under-19 World Cup Sunday at the Heraklion University Sports Hall in Greece.
The national team was up 70-67 following a pair of free throws from Sean Dave Ildefonso with 1:28 left in the game.
But the opposition answered with a three-point shot courtesy of Oscar Oswald that tied the score at 70-all, and after a missed triple try by Dalph Panopio, Flynn Cameron made a layup for a 72-70 lead with 51 seconds left.
The two teams traded missed shots, before Cameron sealed the deal for New Zealand with two free throws that gave them a 74-70 advantage with six seconds to play.
The setback had the Philippines finish 14th overall in the 16-team tournament – the best for the Filipinos in the event since a 10th-place finish when it joined the age-group event for the first and only time back in 1979 in Brazil.
Carl Tamayo led Gilas Youth with 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting, including 4-of-8 from three-point area, with 12 rebounds. Panopio and Ildefonso contributed 16 points apiece for the national team.