Gilas Pilipinas rammed into a well-oiled Serbian team and absorbed another ghastly setback—a 59-point 126-67 loss late Monday night in the 2019 FIBA World Cup at the Foshan International Sports and Cultural Arena.
READ: Gilas Pilipinas faces do-or-die game vs. Serbia
Bannered by NBA Twin Towers Nikola Jokic and Boban Marjanovic, the Serbians proved too classy against the error-prone Filipinos, who absorbed their second straight loss and kissed their hopes of advancing to the next round of the 32-team tournament goodbye.
Expected to challenge the US team of NBA starts for the World Cup crown, Serbia clinched a berth to the next round, alongside Italy, which on Saturday defeated the Philippines, 108-62, and Angola, 92-61, Monday.
The Filipinos hope to end their group stage campaign on a winning note when they play Angola at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Jokic led the Serbian juggernaut with 23 points and 7 rebounds in 18 minutes and was ably backed up by Bogdan Bogdanovic with 24 points and 5 assists and Nemanja Bjelica with 24 on a perfect 7 of 7 shooting from the field. Marjanovic had 13 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists.
As if a huge 62-35 lead wasn’t enough, the Serbians unleashed a 13-0 bomb to open the third quarter and scoot to a monstrous 75-35 lead, which they padded further to as much as 89-44 lead on a trey by Bjelica.
Gilas’ best moments came in the second quarter, when back-to-back baskets by CJ Perez moved the Filipinos to within 11 points, 19-30, and then again 23-34, on a converted steal by the rookie.
But it was all downhill from there.
Meanwhile, French star Rudy Gobert accused basketball’s governing body FIBA of showing “no respect” on Monday after he said he was woken up for a doping test at the World Cup in China just hours after a match.
The Utah Jazz center made plain his anger in a tweet, writing: “Got woke up this morning for a doping control (BLOOD and urine), the morning after a late game when I could sleep more.
“No respect for the player’s recovery time. Terrible way of doing things @FIBA.”
The towering two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and his French side squeezed through 78-74 against Germany on Sunday evening in their tournament opener.
Gobert, 27, had a game-leading five blocks to help the French make a winning start in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. Peter Atencio with AFP
Gobert, who stands an imposing 7ft 1in (2.16-metre), has taken over the mantle of France’s leading star from the now-retired Tony Parker.
FIBA did not immediately respond to an AFP request for comment.
After a drubbing from the world’s 13th-ranked Italy, Gilas Pilipinas faces an even more formidable task when it takes on the world’s fourth-ranked Serbia at 7:30 p.m. today, Monday, at the Foshan International Sports and Cultural Arena in Foshan, China. With AFPREAD: FIBA quest: Tall order to victoryREAD: Gilas Pilipinas gets rude welcome vs. Italy
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