Gilas Pilipinas considered the game against Angola their most winnable game. While they were able to keep this game close considering the results of the first two games, it still wasn’t enough to get the win in the end. Gilas fell in OT, 81-84, ending the Group Stage with a 0-3 record.
Andray Blatche played his best game of the tournament, racking up 23 points and 12 rebounds. CJ Perez continues his breakout international run with 17 points and 7 rebounds. Robert Bolick and Japeth Aguilar combined for 18 points in the loss. Yanick Moreira, Carlos Morais and Reggie Moore all scored in double-digits and scored on crucial baskets in the final period and OT to down Gilas.
Gilas was able to stay within striking distance of the Angolans for most of the first half. Blatched powered his way in the paint to carry the Gilas offense. Everytime Angola tried to pull away in the first 20 minutes, Gilas had an answer, cutting their lead down.
Angola was able to finally break free in the third period. They started the quarter on an 8-2 run ti build their double-digit lead. They were able to grow that lead to 12 points early in the final period.
With the game slipping out of their hands, Gilas mounted a comeback to get back in the game. They intensified their efforts on defense, forcing several turnovers leading to big shots on the offensive end. Kiefer Ravena sparked the fourth quarter run with back-to-back steals leading to fastbreak attacks, cutting the lead down to just four. Perez and RR Pogoy joined in on the barrage with back-to-back triples to complete the 21-9 run, leading Gilas back ahead.
Unfortunately Angola wouldn’t let up. Morais scored on a triple and followed it up with a hoop and harm inside to push his team back ahead by three. Needing a clutch basket on the other end, Perez heeded the call. He stepped into a pull-up three with 33 seconds left to tie the game and force the extra period.
Gilas jumped back out ahead to start OT. But Angola had an answer. Moored and Moreira scored on back-to-back hits to put Angola up by four. Gilas was able to inch as close as three in the final seconds but Ravena missed a game-tying triple, allowing Angola to escape with the win.
Gilas will try to keep their Olympic bid alive in the Classification Stage. If they can sweep both games and the rest of the Asian teams lose their assignments, they can earn an outright berth to the 2020 Olympics as the best Asian Team.