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Thursday, April 25, 2024

PH Warriors bow to Afghans in Asian Para wheelchair caging

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The Philippines suffered its second straight loss in the men’s wheelchair basketball, bowing to Afghanistan, 53-49, on Friday at the Hangzhou Olympic Center Gymnasium here.

Christopher Tapia and John Rey Escalante carried the fight for the Pilipinas Warriors with 22 and 14 points, respectively, but the breaks didn’t go well for the Filipinos’ side when they were held scoreless in the final one minute and a half.

After Tapia scored a basket that put the Philippines just a point behind, 49-50, Sadat Sayed Wasim and Azisi Fazal Malik converted a pair of charities in the final minute to provide the marginal points and the win for Afghanistan.

“I told them to relax and enjoy the game. They executed better this time. Bumigay lang sa huli,” said the Philippines’ coach Vernon Perea.

Cleford Trocino attempts a basket against the Afghans.

It was a far better showing for the Filipinos, though. Earlier on Thursday night, Pilipinas Warriors absorbed, 34-83, beating from host China.

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Alfie Cabanog topscored for the Filipinos with his 15 points, but his efforts were no match to the unrelenting Chinese five, which scored from both the inside and outside.

Making their debut in the continental showcase, the Philippine Warriors were only in the game for a few minutes before they fumbled in the face of the hosts’ onslaught for their first loss in Group A, where they hoped to win at least one game to go for at least fourth or fifth placing.

Perea said that his players were too tense in their maiden appearance at the Asian level. Against the Afghans, they showed more poise only to waver in the end game.

The Philippines’ hope for at least a better placing in their Asian Para Games debut looked dim as it faces SEA Games’ tormentor and champion Thailand on Saturday. Their last elimination game is against Asian champion Iran.

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