The Philippine men’s national basketball team ended its FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament campaign as it absorbed a tough loss at the hands of Dominican Republic, 94-67, at the Aleksandar Nikolic Hall in Belgrade, Serbia on Friday morning (Manila time).
Fresh from its gutsy loss against world no. 5 Serbia a day earlier, Gilas Pilipinas showed a solid performance in the first two quarters against Dominican Republic, even closing the first half up by 41-39.
But came the third quarter, Gilas played sloppy basketball and their opponents made them pay for it as Dominican Republic torched them with a 26-10 scoring spree highlighted by 12 straight points to pull away for good.
As a result, Philippines took the bottom spot of Group A with a 0-2 slate, while Serbia (2-0) and Dominican Republic (1-1) both entered the knockout semifinals.
Jordan Heading led Gilas with 16 points on 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Naturalized center Ange Kouame made 10 points and six rebounds, while Kai Sotto provided eight points and four boards.
On the other side, three players scored at least 20 points for the Dominican Republic. Victor Liz scorched hot from downtown as he ended up with 23 points on a 5-of-6 clip from three-point range, while Gelvis Solano delivered 21 points, five assists, and three steals.
Michael Torres Cuevas put up 20 points, six assists, five rebounds, and three steals in the win, while Angel Thomas Nunez Castillo rounded up the Dominican Republic players in double figures as he had 13 markers along with six rebounds, and three blocks.
After an OQT exit, the Philippine men’s national basketball team will now switch its focus to the FIBA Asia Cup, which will begin on August in Jakarta, Indonesia.


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