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Jordan escapes with road win as Gilas' last dash falls short

Dar Tucker led Jordan in a wild one against Gilas. Kennelf Monteza
By Ivan Saldajeno

BOCAUE—Jordan swept what had been a do-or-die sixth window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers for the team after surviving with a 91-90 win against Gilas Pilipinas on Monday night at the Philippine Arena.

A red-hot first half turned out to be just enough for the Jordanians as Gilas could not complete a comeback from 25 points down.

Despite the game being a no-bearing one as Jordan already clinched a spot in the World Cup proper as early as Friday night after a 98-63 rout at India, the visiting side silenced the crowd quickly as if they are still chasing for it after racing to a 33-14 first-quarter lead.

Although Gilas made some feelers in the second quarter, Jordan finished the quarter strong to enter halftime leading, 60-41.

Gilas pulled off a huge second-half comeback and even tied the game multiple times, the last at 88-all with 1:48 left.

However, a free throw from Freddie Ibrahim off a Scottie Thompson away-from-ball foul plus a Caden Alnajdawi dunk afterward put Jordan up for good, 91-88, with 1:42 remaining.

Justin Brownlee kept Gilas in the game with a mid-range jumper with 1:30 left even as Gilas forced crucial stops later on.

Thompson had a chance to redeem himself, but he missed two free throws that could have given Gilas the lead with 31.3 left.

Gilas nearly forced a 24-second violation on Jordan, though, in the next play and had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but Ray-Ray Parks missed a bank shot from mid-range at the final buzzer.

Dar Tucker led Jordan with 22 points, 12 rebounds, and two assists, while Freddy Ibrahim added 19 points, one rebound, eight assists, and two steals for Jordan.

Brownlee exploded for 41 points, 29 in the second half, 12 rebounds, and three assists for Gilas.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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