Gilas Pilipinas bowed to a more cohesive Jordan, 87-62, and fell to a precarious position in the 19th Asian Games men’s basketball competitions, Saturday evening at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium in China.
Unlike against Thailand where they found ways to overcome issues, the Filipino cagers could only do so much against the Falcons, whose locals picked things up early before Rondae Hollis-Jefferson came in to inflict more damage.
A big concern of his PBA foes, the reigning Governors’ Cup Best Import did cause a ton of headache to Coach Tim Cone and Co. as he finished with 23 points, six rebounds, nine assists, two steals, and two blocks to lead his side.
Big thanks to him, the Jordanians have clinched the top seed of Group C with a perfect 3-0 record, gaining an outright trip to the quarterfinals in the process.
The Philippines, on the other hand, ended up as the No. 2 team in the pool after suffering its first loss (2-1), and will face Qatar in the qualification for quarters on Monday, October 2, at 4 p.m., hoping to keep its medal hopes alive.
Justin Brownlee led Gilas with 24 points. Scottie Thompson was the only other double-digit scorer for the team with 11 points and 11 rebounds in the defeat.
The Ginebra tandem helped their side come back to life in the third quarter, joining hands for a 13-2 start into the period to trim the gap to three, 45-42.
Fellow Gin King Japeth Aguilar later tied the game up at 50-all but Hollis-Jefferson quickly gave the lead back to Jordan, which sparked a 9-2 spurt to give themselves a seven-point lead entering the fourth quarter
Freddy Ibrahim and Sami Bzai opened the final period with a three-pointer each to push their lead to 13, 65-52, and the Falcons kept on soaring afterwards that Gilas could only watch them break away to the 25-point victory.
Ibrahim finished with 17 points, three rebounds, and five assists. Bzai supplied 12 points as the backcourt duo combined for six of the team’s eight triples.
The two were also the catalysts of Jordan’s surge from a sluggish start as they led a 10-0 run to end the first quarter in their favor, 16-13.
Big men John Bohannan and Ahmad Al Dwairi, meanwhile, added 10 points apiece and combined for 17 rebounds to help the West Asian side sweep its way to the quarterfinals, which commences on Tuesday, October 3.
Jordan (87) – Hollis-Jefferson 24, Ibrahim 17, Bzai 12, Al-Dwairi 10, Bohannon 10, Hussein 7, Alhamarsheh 5, Alhenda 2, Abbas 0, Qarmash 0, Alhammouri 0.
Philippines (62) – Brownlee 24, Thompson 11, Aguilar 8, Fajardo 8, Perez 5, Kouame 4, Lassiter 2, Oftana 0, Ross 0, Newsome 0, Tolentino 0.
Quarterscores: 16-13, 42-29, 59-52, 87-62.