Philippines’ Fiba Asia run ends at Jordan’s handsBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ stellar run came to an end Saturday in the face of Jordan’s blistering offense.
Smart Gilas Pilipinas, unable to recover from a barrage of treys in the fourth quarter, yielded to Jordan, 61-75, Saturday and missed a crack at advancing to the finals of Fiba Asia Olympic Qualifiers.
The Jordanians struck with three straight triples to stretch the lead further just as the Philippines came within a point, 49-48, with 6:21 left on a conversion by naturalized center Marcus Douthit.
But despite countless attempts, the Philippines – which only made it to the semi-finals for the first time in 24 years – could not buy a basket in the ensuing minutes and allowed Jordan to break away with the chance for an outright 2012 London Olympics berth.
Though it missed its chance in the Asian qualifiers, Smart Gilas will still have a shot to compete for an Olympics slot if it wins over the loser of China-South Korea in the battle for bronze.
The first and second runners-up will compete in the 2012 World Olympic Qualifying against teams from other continents which also failed in their bids.
Douthit finished with 21 points on a losing cause with star guard JVee Casio adding 15 points. Ranidel De Ocampo, who was the sparkplug in their victory over Chinese Taipei last Friday, had eight points.
The Philippines jumped the gun early, unlike in its other matches, and kept Jordan at bay until half time.
But Jordan snatched and seized total control in the second half, where it never gave Smart Gilas, which it also ousted in the same competition in 2007 and 2009, a chance to get back.
Jordan’s shifty guard Sam Daghles, who nailed two of the three triples in the determining three-minute stretch, unleashed 16 points while naturalized reinforcement Rasheim Wright pulled off a game-best 24 points.
JORDAN 75—Wright 24, Daghles 16, Z.Abbaas 14, Abuqoura 9, Zaghab 5, I.Abbaas 5, Al-Sous 2, Hussein 0, Ruqayah 0, Soobzokov 0, Alkhas 0.
PHILIPPINES 61—Douthit 21, Casio 15, de Ocampo 8, Williams 6, Lutz 4, Barroca 4, Lassiter 2, Alapag 1, Tiu 0, Taulava 0.
Quarterscores: 12-18, 27-28, 49-41, 75-61