Gilas Pilipinas played better than it did versus Italy two nights ago, but it still was not enough.
The Philippines suffered humiliation anew, this time at the hands of gold medal favorites Serbia, 126-67, in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Monday evening at the GBA International Sports and Cultural Center in Foshan, China.
“Serbia is just too big, too good,” lamented Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao. “I feel like they have a really good chance against the US (United States) and any of the top teams… They were just too good for us at this point.”
Gilas started the match with high spirits, even taking a 9-7 lead after a Paul Lee bucket.
That, unfortunately, was the only time Gilas looked like they had a chance. The Serbians quickly recovered and unloaded an overwhelming 21-5 blitz – ended by Nemanja Bjelica’s trey – to end the quarter with a 28-13 advantage.
It was then the beginning of a one-sided affair, as the Serbians sailed smoothly to the 59-point win.
“We just played out there and tried to keep it as close as we can. Apparently we didn’t keep it to close that long,” Guiao said. “We shot 4-of-24 from three-points – there’s just no way we can beat them inside the paint.”
In their 62-108 defeat from the Italians, the Filipino dribblers went just 3-of-23 that included 17 straight misses.
Gilas has fallen to 0-2 and have now bid goodbye to their hopes of advancing to the next round. The Philippines drops to Group N of the classification phase. It will be joined by fellow Group D team Angola, which it will face on Wednesday; Iran; and the loser of the Puerto Rico-Tunisia Game.
CJ Perez led the Filipino dribblers with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting, along with three assists and two steals.
Lee had 15 points on a 46-percent shooting clip, but was the only other double-digit scorer.
Andray Blatche was held down to just five points on 2-of-10 shooting on top of four turnovers. He fouled out late in the game.
Bjelica finished with 21 points to power the Serbians (2-0), who shot an excellent 75 percent from the field. They built their offense on the 37 assists they dished, as well as the 28 easy points they made off their counterparts’ 14 turnovers.
Bogdan Bogdanovic produced 17 points, while Miroslav Raduljica supplied 13 points. Nikola Jokic manufactured 11 markers, seven boards, and seven dimes in the win that booked Serbia a spot in the next round along with Italy (2-0).
Gilas will next face its fellow also-ran team in Angola (0-2) on Wednesday, September 4, at 3:30 p.m.
Philippines (67) – Perez 16, Dalistan 15, Fajardo 8, Bolick 7, Aguilar 7, Blatche 5, Ravena 5, Rosario 2, Pogoy 2, Norwood 0, Almazan 0.
Serbia (126) – Bjelica 21, Bogdanovic 17, Raduljica 13, Guduric 12, Jokic 11, Micic 11, Milutinov 10, Marjanovic 9, Simonovic 7, Jovic 6, Bircevic 6, Lucic 4.
Quarterscores: 13-28, 35-62, 48-99, 67-126.