MANILA, Philippines — Smart Gilas took a 65-95 beating from a towering Sagesse team of Lebanon in the quarterfinals Friday morning to conclude its stint in the 24th Dubai Invitational basketball tournament in Dubai.
The Nationals’ week-long campaign ended on a tailspin, losing three straight games since their 79-77 opening victory over Lebanese club Mouttahed Tripoli last Saturday.
On Friday, all things worked against the Nationals’ way in the payoff period. Center Marcus Douthit got hurt early in the fourth as turnover woes continued to plague the Nationals.
“Sensya na mga kabayan. Di talaga kaya. Natapilok pa si Marcus (Sorry about this. The competition’s too tough. Marcus also got hurt),” said national team head coach Chot Reyes on Twitter after the game.
The lone bright spot was the 34-point explosion of KG Canaleta, who buried eight three-pointers to pace the Nationals.
Cañaleta gave the 2002 Dubai champions a scare when he nailed four treys in the third quarter to bring the lead down to single digit, 53-44, according to Lebanon’s The Daily Star..
But Sagesse recovered quickly as their imports DeShawn Sims, Aaron Harper and Chudney Gray continued to find their range en route to the blowout.
Harper wound up with 24 points, while Sims and Gray added 20 and 14 markers, in that order, for Sagasse, which led from start to finish.