Italy ends Gilas five’s FIBA World Cup dream with 90-83 thrashing

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TIGHT DEFENSE. The Philippines’ AJ Edu tries to force his way past Italy’s defense in their 2023 FIBA Basketball World

Philippines News, Philippines Headlines

Gilas Pilipinas kissed its hopes of advancing to the second round goodbye following a 90-83 loss to Italy in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Tuesday night.

“(Clarkson) did an unbelievable job today. He played his heart out. He’s my teammate. What can I say,” said Fontecchio as the Azzuri made it to the round of 16. With the loss, its third straight in the tournament in as many games, the Philippines failed to advance to the second round for the second straight World Cup.

“Kailangan naming iyung aming sixth man, iyung mga fans. Din man namin nakukuha iyung resulta na gusto nila. Pero, wala naman may gusto nito. Lahat sa amin naman, gusto manalo (We needed our sixth man, the fans. We may not have gotten the result they wanted, but nobody wants this result. All of us on Gilas do want to win),” said PH guard Kiefer Ravena.

They grew the lead to 73-60 courtesy of a buzzer-beating trey by Alessandro Pajola off a broken play heading into the fourth. The Italians, who had been shooting horribly in the past two games, finally found their touch in the game, sinking 17 treys in 41 tries for a scorching 41.5%, to the 34.5% of the hosts (10 of 29).

Italy’s win in front of 11,821 fans at the Big Dome improved their all-time record against the Asians to 5-1, having won the last five games following a 32-14 loss in the 1936 Olympics.In the first game of the night, Gilas Pilipinas got a helping hand from first-game tormentor Dominican Republic, which momentarily left a window open for the hosts’ second-round bid after surviving Angola, 75-67.

The Angolans, with Silvio de Sousa making 19 points, kept his team ahead for the last time, after penetrating four times for a 65-63 edge in the final 2:52. After that, Jean Montero and Liz forced two turnovers. Baskets from Liz, Feliz, and Towns in the last 56 seconds put the Dominicanos safely in front, 71-65.

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