Despite going down to just nine men and playing in front of a hostile crowd, Gilas Pilipinas did not give up, falling to South Korea by just four points, 102-106, to close out the 2022 KB Kookmin Bank Invitational, Saturday at the Anyang Gymnasium in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea.
Already playing without Angelo Kouame (partial ACL tear) and Dave Ildefonso (ankle), Gilas also lost Lebron Lopez in the first half as the youngster sprained his right ankle after challenging Heo Hoon’s three-point attempt. The injury happened with 8:29 left in the first half.
Ricardo Ratliffe and Yeo Jun-Seok joined hands in Korea’s 35-point third quarter, scoring 12 and nine points, respectively to give the home team an 82-74 lead entering the final frame.
Still, the young Gilas team coached by Nenad Vucinic put up a fight.
During the endgame, Rhenz Abando scored on a rare four-point play to keep close with the Koreans late.
A poster jam by Dwight Ramos on Choi Joon-Yong cut the lead down to 104-102 with 14.5 seconds remaining. However, free throws by Kang Sang-Jae though closed out the game.
Gilas also lost the first game yesterday, 96-92.
Ratliffe had a monster line of 27 points and 18 rebounds for Korea while Heo Woon got 21 points and eight assists.
Yeo and SJ Belangel’s future teammate in the KBL Lee Daesung added 17 and 14 points, respectively.
Ramos led the Philippines with a game-high 31 points on 13-of-17 shooting from the field with eight rebounds. Abando added 19 points built on four treys while RJ Abarrientos chipped in 17 points on five triples.
Carl Tamayo also produced 12 points, six assists, and three rebounds.
Both teams are preparing for the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup which begins on July 12 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Gilas are also preparing for the third window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, going up against New Zealand in Auckland on June 30 and versus India in Manila on July 3.
Philippines 102 – Ramos 31, Abando 19, Abarrientos 17, Tamayo 12, Belangel 7, Ravena 6, Navarro 4, Quiambao 2, Chiu 2, Lopez 2.
Korea 106 – Ratliffe 27, Heo W 21, Yeo 17, Lee DS 14, Choi 9, Kang 8, Heo H 2, Kim 2, Lee DH 0, Song 0.
Quarterscores: 31-25, 53-47,74-82, 102-106.