SEVILLE, Spain -- Jimmy Alapag is mighty proud of having played against Argentina, especially as Gilas Pilipinas lost by only a four-point margin against the No. 3 team in the world.
Alapag's near seamless three-point shooting nearly knocked down the Argentina squad especially after he connected a long jumper that cut the deficit to 81-83 just two minutes remaining before regulation.
In the end, he registered five triples for a total of 15 points.
The Philippine national men’s basketball team suffered a heartbreaking 85-81 defeat to perennial world powerhouse Argentina to drop its third straight game in the FIBA Basketball World Cup Monday in Seville, Spain.
The loss dropped Gilas Pilipinas to 0-3 while Argentina improved to 2-1.
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It’s a testament to the overall strength of Team USA basketball that a 21-point victory over Turkey is cause for alarm, but the red, white and blue were down by six in the middle of the third quarter.
If it wasn’t for an incredible performance from Kenneth Faried, the Americans may have been in trouble. That type of effort simply isn’t going to cut it against Serge Ibaka, the Gasol brothers and the rest of Spain later in the tournament.
With that in mind, here is a look at a few Team USA members who must improve going forward if a 2014 FIBA World Cup championship is in the cards.
SEVILLE, Spain—Reeling from two straight losses already, Gilas Pilipinas is seriously thinking of giving Andray Blatche two days of rest to recover from a twisted right knee and give his wards a fighting chance in their last two games in the the Fiba World Cup.
Set to play Argentina at press time, Reyes was flirting with the thought of letting Blatche cool his heels on the bench and have him healthier for Puerto Rico on Wednesday and Senegal the day after.
“It’s a game time decision,” Reyes told reporters in this quaint city before his wards slug it out with the World No. 3 Argentines at 5:30 p.m. Monday (11:30 p.m. in Manila) at Centro Deportivo San Pablo.
SEVILLE, Spain—Renaldo Balkman swears that he loves the Philippines, but vowed to go all out when Puerto Rico and Gilas Pilipinas—both struggling in Group B play in the Fiba World Cup with 0-3 cards—go at each other’s throat Wednesday.
Balkman had gone for one throat in an impressive albeit very brief stint in the PBA in 2013, when he choked teammate Arwind Santos that led to his lifetime ban.
“No hard feelings,” Balkman said of the ban. “I love Manila and I love the Philippines. But I will treat it as like any other game.”
The Philippine national men’s basketball has not won a game in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. But with the way they have pushed some of the world’s best teams to their limits, it’s fair to say that this team is playing beyond expectations.
Gilas Pilipinas had every reason to wilt under the top-notch play of the European and South American powerhouses they have faced in Group B of the tournament but proved that their fighting heart – their ‘Puso’ – prevails even in defeat.
They forced Croatia into an overtime period before falling 81-78 in their first game before hanging tough against a much larger Greece side, 82-70, in their second game.
Following Argentina’s tight 85-81 victory over the Philippine national men’s basketball team in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, NBA player Pablo Prigioni was all praises for the Gilas Pilipinas side.
“Philippines played a good game, it was tough til the end,” Prigioni said after the game.
“Everyone can shoot, they can play a good rhythm. It’s fun to watch.”
Oh Captain, My Captain!
In his farewell tour with the Philippine men’s basketball team, Jimmy Alapag on Monday delivered the performance of a lifetime against third-seeded Argentina.
Alapag hit five of six shots from beyond the arc, four of which came in the pivotal stretch, allowing the Filipinos to mount a rally from 15 points down.
The mighty fighting heart of team captain Jimmy Alapag carried the Philippines in the fourth quarter, but the team could not quite get over the hump against traditional world power Argentina to drop an 85-81 heartbreaker early Tuesday morning in Seville, Spain.
Gilas Pilipinas dropped its third straight loss in the 2014 FIBA World Cup, with this one perhaps the most painful.
Alapag's hit four three-pointers in the fourth period, including the last to put Gilas within a single point, 82-81, with less than two minutes remaining.
In their first real test of the 2014 FIBA World Cup, Spain soundly defeated top Group A challenger Brazil and reasserted themselves as the tournament's co-favorites. A torrid offensive start led by Pau Gasol put Spain in the driver's seat early, leading to an easy 82-63 victory.
Spain wasted little time in taking control. Early threes by Juan Carlos Navarro and Rudy Fernandez whipped the home crowd in Granada into a frenzy and gave Spain a 15-4 lead. From there, Pau Gasol took over, scoring 10 points in the quarter, the last two of which gave Spain an 18-point lead.
Brazil started to calm down in the second quarter and cut the lead to 13 by halftime, but Spain quickly regained control early in the third quarter thanks to three straight made threes by Gasol. A triple by Juan Carlos Navarro with just under four minutes remaining in the period pushed Spain's advantage back up to 22. Brazil never seriously threatened from there.