MANILA – For the first time since 2007, the Gilas Pilipinas will not advance to the quarterfinals of the FIBA Asia Cup.
The young Gilas squad succumbed to Japan in the playoff round on Tuesday, 102-81, to miss the Last Eight battle in the 2022 edition of the tournament in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Yuki Togashi and Luke Evans led the offensive onslaught of the Japanese squad, providing 18 and 17 points, respectively, to clinch the last quarterfinal berth at stake.
The two also got solid support from Yudai Nishida, Yutaroh Suda, and Yuta Watanabe, who contributed a total of 44 points.
Meanwhile, the Philippines leaned on Bobby Ray Parks, who had 16 markers. Kiefer Ravena and Carl Tamayo added 25 combined points.
Japan held the lead for the entirety of the match, establishing a commanding 32-16 lead after the first 10 minutes of the game.
Gilas threatened to comeback at the start of the second period with a 9-0 run, capped by a three-pointer by Erram at the 6:20 mark, 25-32.
But the Japanese quickly restored order after a timeout and built another double-digit lead midway of the period, 37-25.
It returned to a 16-point cushion once again when Watanabe hit a jump shot in the dying seconds of the first half, 50-34.
The Philippines attempted to narrow the gap in the second half as Gilas appeared to find a little rhythm in the three-point territory. But Japan had an answer to all the treys of the Philippines to hold on to their lead.
Trailing by 12 in the fourth, the Philippines could not get a momentum swing as Nishida and Evans capitalized on Gilas errors for an 83-67 separation, 7:49 left to play.
Togashi made it a 23-point ball game after drilling a triple at 5:37 mark, 92-69.
In 2007, the Philippine basketball team settled for ninth place in the tournament.
JAPAN 102 -- Togashi 18, Evans 17, Nishida 15, Watanabe 15, Suda 14, Harimoto 9, Yoshii 7, Sato 5, Inoue 2, Tominaga 0, Kawamura 0, Toews 0.
PHILIPPINES 81 -- Parks 16, K. Ravena 15, Tamayo 10, Belangel 9, Erram 7, Quiambao 6, Abarrientos 5, Navarro 4, Lopez 3, T. Ravena 2, Chiu 2, Abando 2.
Quarterscores: 32-16, 50-34, 77-63, 102-81.