Gilas Pilipinas fell short against Tunisia, 80-68, to end its 10th King Abdullah Cup stint, Sunday night at the Prince Hamzah Sport Hall in Amman, Jordan.
The Filipino cagers railled from 16 down and knocked within just three with less than five minutes left to play. Then Omar Abada and Jahwer Jahadi conspired to save the 2017 Afrobasket champs and finish the tilt at third place.
Carl Tamayo had 14 points and six rebounds, while SJ Belangel added 12 markers.
Gilas is the only ASEAN team to take part in the week-long tilt.
Kouame did not play in the game as he is nursing some minor injuries.
The youthful tandem carried the fight for the Philippine team early in the fourth quarter. Thirdy Ravena’s turnaround jumper then pulled them within striking distance, 66-69, with 4:22 remaining in the game.
However, the breaks of the game veered away from them afterwards. Tamayo was assessed with an unsportsmanlike foul, and Abada went perfect from the line to push the Tunisians’ lead to five with 4:07 to go.
A minute later, Jahadi compounded on Gilas’ woes, converting a three-point play off a Ravena foul to inflate their lead to 74-66.
Tamayo once again tried to will his side back into it. However, they couldn’t stop Tunisia’s 1-2 punch, with Abada extending their lead to 10 with 35 seconds left. Belhssan Chihi scored before time expired to settle the final count.
Jahadi had 21 points and six rebounds, while Abada made 19 points and six assists for the Eagles, who exacted vengeance on Gilas after suffering a 73-74 defeat in overtime during their elimination round tiff last Friday.
With the defeat, the Tab Baldwin-mentored squad finished the tourney with a total of three wins and four losses. Their victories were versus Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan-B, although the last one did not count in the official standings.
Philippines 68 — Tamayo 14, Belangel 12, Go 9, Ramos 7, Baltazar 6, Ravena 6, Suerte 6, Ma. Nieto 3, Abarrientos 3, Ildefonso 2, Navarro 0, Chiu 0, Heading 0, Mi. Nieto 0.
Tunisia 80 –– Jawadi 21, Abada 19, Ghayaza 9, Lahiani 9, Gannouni 8, Bouallegue 6, Marnaoui 2, Addami 2, Yahia 2, Chihi 2.
Quarterscores: 18-23, 34-42, 53-64, 68-80.