Gilas Pilipinas falls to Lebanon in Fiba Asia Cup opener

Gilas Pilipinas vs Lebanon in the Fiba Asia Cup 2022. –FIBA BASKETBALL

MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas fought its way back from a 22-point deficit in the fourth quarter but still fell short to Lebanon, 95-80, in the 2022 Fiba Asia Cup on Wednesday at Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia.

When Yousef Khayat tallied Lebanon’s biggest lead, 22 points, 82-60, with 8:18 remaining, Carl Tamayo refused to give up and scored seven of the Filipinos’ 11 straight points to cut the deficit to 82-71 at the 5:26 mark.

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SJ Belangel then capped the 14-1 run with a three-point play to trim it down to just nine, 83-74, with 4:42 to play.

However, Hayk Gyokchan stopped the bleeding for the Lebanese with an and-one, followed by another three-point play from Wael Arakji for an 89-75 breather with 1:50 to go. Jonathan Arledge nailed the dagger three in the final 50-second mark.

“Unfortunate that the result turned out this way. But I thought we made a great run. We never quit, even when we were down by almost 20 points in the fourth,” said Gilas coach Chot Reyes shortly after the match.

“We made a great run to get within single digits midway through the fourth quarter. But the spread, the buffer that they got in the third quarter when they were hitting all those three-point shots was just too much for us to overcome.”