2019 FIBA World Cup: Gilas loses potential Olympic slot with loss to Tunisia

It was another tough loss for Gilas Pilipinas against Tunisia keeping them winless in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The 67-86 loss hurts doubly as they let go of the potential outright slot in the 2020 Olympics.

Andray Blatche had another big game, scoring 24 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in the loss. But the other Filipinos on the team were missing. No other Pinoy managed to score in double digits. Troy Rosario was the closest to Blatche’s scoring total with eight points. Mark Barroca contributed seven points in the game. Omar Abada scored 16 points to lead Tunisia. Salah Mejri had 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Photo from FIBA

Gilas was once again plagued by a slow start. Makram Romdhane led Tunisia on a strong 14-3 opening run with repeated baskets in the paint. Abada and Micheal Roll continued to push Tunisia ahead, building a 17-point lead after the first period. Tunisia held on to a commanding lead for most of the game after that point.

Gilas had their best stretch of the game in the final period. Rosario was joined by June Mar Fajardo, Kiefer Ravena and CJ Perez in a scoring run that cut the 28-point lead down to below 20. But the deficit was just too big to overcome at that point. Gilas would not be able to get any closer than 16 points.

Tunisia shot a tidy 48% in the game and nailed 11 triples. They only had eight turnovers and dished out 19 assists to showcase their patient offensive game. Gilas on the other hand struggled from the field once again. They managed only 40% shooting and eight triples in the game. The also had more turnovers than assists at 15-12.

Gilas faces Asian rival Iran in their final game of the tournament.