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A sizzling start by South Sudan dooms Gilas Pilipinas as it remains winless in the FIBA World Cup and crashes out of contention for an outright berth in the Paris Games
MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas bid goodbye to an outright berth in the Olympics.
A sizzling start by South Sudan doomed the Philippines in an 87-68 loss as it remained winless in its hosting of the FIBA World Cup and crashed out of contention for the Paris Games at the Araneta Coliseum on Thursday, August 31.
The Filipinos got buried by as deep as 21 points, 51-30, after the South Sudanese shot 6-of-10 from three-point land in the opening quarter, before they fell short of their spirited second-half comeback to fall to 0-4 in Group M.
Dwight Ramos and AJ Edu both turned in double-doubles to give Utah Jazz star Jordan Clarkson ample local support, but Carlik Jones – another NBA player – delivered down the stretch as the Bright Stars held on to the win.
Jones finished with a near triple-double of 17 points, 14 assists, and 9 rebounds for South Sudan, which seized the top spot in Group M with a 2-2 record.
Gilas Pilipinas trailed by just two possessions early in the final salvo, 59-64, before Jones anchored a 13-2 run that sealed the deal for the Bright Stars.
Clarkson chalked up 24 points and 4 rebounds, Ramos put up 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Edu chimed in 12 points and 14 rebounds in another losing effort.
With the loss, the Philippines bowed out of the race for the Olympic berth to be rewarded to the highest-placing Asian squad.
Japan has the inside track for the incentive as it grabbed the top spot in Group O with a 2-2 record after pulling off an 86-77 upset of Venezuela earlier in the day.
South Sudan 87 – Jones 17, Deng 13, Omot 13, Shayok 12, Gabriel 11, Kuany 8, Kacuol 8, Acuoth 3, Dech 2, Maluach 0.
Philippines 68 – Clarkson 24, Ramos 20, Edu 12, Sotto 8, Malonzo 4, Abando 0, Aguilar 0, Fajardo 0, Perez 0, Ravena 0, Thompson 0, Pogoy 0.
Quarters: 34-17, 51-33, 60-50, 87-68.