|Thursday – July 17th, 2014|
|FINAL. PHILIPPINES WINS.|
Video credits: FIBA
Venue: Wuhan Sports Centre Gymnasium, Wuhan (China). Entry is Paid.
Wuhan (China): The Philippines did most of their good work in the first half – but as the game winded down, they needed to survive a furious rally by India to advance to the semi-finals. Down by 16 with five minutes to go against an Asian powerhouse, India battled their way back with an inspired 12-0 run to close the game, but it wouldn’t be enough as Philippines won the Quarter-Final clash 70-66 at the 5th FIBA Asia Cup at the Wuhan Sports Center.
India was led by Amrit Pal Singh, who rocked the post with 20 points and 10 rebounds in a dominant performance. But his efforts wouldn’t be enough, as India dug themselves in a hole too deep in the first two periods.
“I know we lost this game in the first half,” said Coach Scott Flemming after the game, “Because we played a heck of a game in the fourth quarter… We lost this game in the first half. We weren’t playing with enough effort, with enough intensity, and so we talked about that at halftime. I thought we came out pretty good in the second half. And when our backs got against the wall we had to play… We started pressing… We had some players who knew that it was now or never…”
The end-game effort wouldn’t be enough. The first half belonged to the Philippines, who took a 12-point lead at halftime and seemed to be in their comfort zone at both ends of the floor. Paul John Dalistan (15) dominated proceedings from the perimeter while Marcus Douthit (14 points, 12 rebounds) left India looking for answers in the post.
India improved after the halftime break, but, they truly didn’t find their spark for one last push until the last five minutes of the fourth quarter. It was here that they began to play a determined full-court press, leading their nervous opponents to commit several unforced errors. On the other end, India turned this newfound intensity into fastbreak layups or open three-pointers. They began to get to the free throw line more often and began to sink their free throws, too.
Unfortunately, the wake-up call for India came too late, as they fell four points short of completing another historic win at this tournament. Earlier in the group stage, this India team had already defeated China for the first time in Indian Basketball history and given reigning champions Iran a run for their money. They might’ve lost today’s game to the Philippines, but their efforts will not go unappreciated.
We’ve made some strides,” said Flemming, “We’re now a competitive team with the best teams in Asia. But I’m greedy, and if you get that close, why not win? But… I know, I’m pleased with them. Overall, we’ve made some strides. We’re a new team, and we’re a team everybody has to worry about now.”
India will now take part in the 5-8th place games, starting with a game against Jordan tomorrow. Philippines move on to the Semi-Final stage, where they will play against reigning champions Iran. Hosts China will take on Chinese Taipei.
Final Score: Philippines (Paul John Dalistan 15, Marcus Dougtit 14, Ranidel De Ocampo 13) bt. India (Amrit Pal Singh 20) 70-66 (20-17, 25-16, 15-14, 10-19). Box Score
Play by Play
(*note that all four teams below have already qualified to Level 1 and these matches are being held for the sole purpose of granting the two winning teams the right to choose their pre-quarter final opponent from level 1)
Girls: Kerala 60 (Nivya Raj 20, Anusha 19) bt Maharashtra 53 (Shruti 21, Neha 12) [21-11, 13-17, 13-11, 13-14]