Angola survives Gilas Men in OT thriller

Valdelicio Joaquim and Angola escaped a gritty Gilas Men side. FIBA
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Despite pushing their opponents to the limit—over it actually—Gilas Pilipinas Men still came up short of the win as Angola escaped with an 84-81 overtime win in the final day of the group stages of the FIBA World Cup at the Foshan International Sports and Cultural Arena on Wednesday.

Angola survived despite blowing a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter as Gilas Men settled for botched long bombs late just as they thought they got their shooting touch back.

Down 49-61 with 8:41 left in regulation, Gilas Men went on a 20-4 run to take a 69-65 lead with 3:18 remaining in regulation.

Angola recovered and retook the lead, 73-70, with 52 seconds to play in regulation, but CJ Perez tied the game at 73 apiece with a booming triple with 33.4 left.

Gilas Men then forced Jacques Conceicao to a tough missed triple, and Kiefer Ravena was fouled by Leonel Paulo with 5.2 seconds to play.

However, apparently unaware of the time left, Perez milked some time before throwing a long triple that he airballed as time expired.

Gilas Men opened the overtime session solidly as a hook shot from RR Pogoy and a split from Andray Blatche gave them a 76-73 lead.

But Angola responded with a 10-2 run to take an 83-78 advantage with 31 seconds to play.

Pogoy kept Gilas Men in the game with a quick triple with 24.2 seconds remaining, but they opted for the steal in the Angola possession, enabling their African foes to milk some time before Blatche fouled Carlos Morais with seven seconds to go.

Morais left the door open for Gilas Men to force another overtime as he only made a split from the line, but with no timeout left, Ravena settled for a deep trey that rimmed out as time expired.

Valdelicio Joaquim made 20 points, seven rebounds, three blocks, and one steal to Angola, which became the first African team to beat the Philippines in the FIBA World Cup.

Yanick Moreira and Reggie Moore each added 12 points as Angola enters the classification phase as the third seed in Group D.

Blatche finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, one block, and four steals for Gilas Men, which will carry a winless 0-3 record to the classification phase, where Asian rival Iran awaits both Gilas Men and Angola.

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