No recovery for Gilas as nationals fall to host Lebanon

Paul Lintag on Aug 19, 2017 10:52 PM
No recovery for Gilas as nationals fall to host Lebanon
Fadi El Khatib led hosts Lebanon past Gilas Pilipinas in the classification phase of the 2017 FIBA-Asia Cup. The Philippines has now been relegated in the battle for 7th place. (FIBA)

No recovery yet for Gilas Pilipinas.

Lebanon pounded on the Philippines early on Saturday, riding its home-court advantage to score a convincing 106-87 win in the 2017 FIBA-Asia Cup classification phase at the Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in Beirut.

The Lebanese will now move on to face China with 5th place on the line while Gilas Pilipinas has been relegated further down the pack, taking on Jordan in the battle for 7th.

Behind living legend Fadi El Khatib, the host nation rolled to a strong start against a deflated Philippine team reeling from a 32-point loss to rival South Korea in the quarterfinals.

Powered by El Khatib, Lebanon opened a 19-point lead in the second quarter but Gilas would ride its trapping defense to come to within eight at the half.

At the turn, a Gilas uprising was quickly stopped as naturalized center Norvel Pelle feasted in the paint for Lebanon on both ends of the floor. The 6'11" human pogo stick scored the first 10 points for the Lebanese all while providing tremendous rim protection on the other end.

Things got a little heated in the fourth quarter after Gilas head coach Chot Reyes was tossed following back-to-back technical fouls. Reyes was livid after a supposed non-call on June Mar Fajardo on a Philippine possession.

El Khatib led Lebanon with a new tournament high of 36 points on top of six rebounds, eight assists, and two steals. Pelle was also a beast for the hosts, going for 23 points, 13 rebounds, and nine blocks.

Terrence Romeo led the Gilas offense with 19 points but most of them came in the second half when the Philippines really had no more shot of coming back.

With Christian Standhardinger leaving for Malaysia to play in the Southeast Asian Games, June Mar Fajardo started for Gilas and came away with 13 points. Jayson Castro likewise finished with 13 with three boards, and seven assists.


The scores:

LEBANON 106 - El Khatib 36, Pelle 23, Souaid 11, El Nour 9, Haidar 9, Saoud 8, Mezher 6, Bawji 4, El Chartouny 0

PHILIPPINES 87 - Romeo 19, Castro 13, Fajardo 13, Wright 12, Cruz 8, Aguilar 6, Pogoy 5, Norwood 4, Abueva 3, Almazan 2, Jalalon 2, 

Quarterscores: 29-18, 50-42, 75-61, 106-87



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