Philippines falls to Kazakhstan in FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers


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MANILA, Philippines – The Filipino cagers were warned against the shooters of Kazakhstan but disregarded them that resulted to a sorry 92-88 loss on Friday, November 30, 2018 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Stanley Pringle’s 29 points are not enough to save Philippines from the hot shooting Kazakhs
Stanley Pringle’s 29 points are not enough to save Philippines from the hot shooting Kazakhs | Photo Credit: ESPN5

It’s been more than 3 months since the protagonists met at the 2018 Asian Games where the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters represented the Philippines and convincingly won over Kazakhstan.

Tonight, the squads met again for the 5th window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers and the Kazakhs faced a different Philippine Team where the top players from different PBA ball clubs donned the national tri-colors.

It was a rough start for Team Pilipinas as they missed a bunch of shots and even hit few unusual airballs.

Midway of the opener, the Filipinos finally found their rhythm led by Beermen June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter who erased the Kazakhstan advantage.

At the end of 1st quarter, the home squad led the visitors by a slim 18-17 points.

Kazakhstan found a way to regain its lead in the 2nd period. The Kazakhs made a living from turning the loose balls and turnovers into valuable digits spearheaded by Alexander Zhigulin.

The early phase of the 2nd period was too timid for Philippines. It was only Matthew Wright who chipped in for his team and in fact earned his points from the foul line.

Not only Kazakhstan beat Philippines in fastbreaks, even in outside shooting, the visitors had the edge over the home team.

Zhigulin had been terrific in the game, where he made double-digits too early. With this, Coach Yeng Guiao banked on Gabe Norwood who’s also known for his glue-tight defense on prolific scorers.

Coach Guiao’s decision to assign Norwood on Zhigulin plus the hustle plays of Scottie Thompson paid off as they managed to cut the 8-point Kazakhstan-lead to just 40-39 at the half.

Philippines got some good shots in the 3rd quarter but Kazakhstan fired back to make it a seesaw battle in terms of scoring.

Alexander Zhigulin and Stanley Pringle put on a show as the players traded numerous baskets that delighted the crowd.

Prior to the game, Coach Yeng warned his boys of Kazakhstan’s shooter. But despite the caution, the nationals still gave their opponents multiple open looks from the three point territory that left them chasing the Kazakhs, 65-62 after the third.

Philippines’ started the final chapter with a smaller lineup. Although included in the lineup, Greg Slaughter didn’t do much both offensively and defensively. Once again, Kazakhstan’s lead had gone up to 5.

The Kazakhs’ confidence was too high that they kept on attacking and challenging the Filipino big men relentlessly and even dunked on them several times.

Come 5-minute mark, Philippines had the chance to grab the lead through the hulking efforts of June Mar Fajardo and Stanley Pringle.

Philippines’ lead didn’t take that long as Kazakhstan quickly snatched it. The visitors possessed a 5-point lead with 50 seconds left in the clock but Marcio Lassiter bucketed a trey to make it a one-possession ballgame.

After the timeout, the Kazakhs made a terrific play to bump up their lead to 4 and narrowed down the chance of the Filipinos in surviving the game.

At the sound of the final horn, Kazakhstan officially pulled an upset against the host country Philippines, 92-88.


With the loss, Philippines tied at 3rd place in their group with Japan that has an identical 5-4 record behind Iran and league-leader Australia.

Philippines will have the chance to redeem itself against Iran on Monday, December 3, 2018, 7:30 pm at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Scores

Kazakhstan 92 – Zhigulin 30, Bykov 20, Yergali 12, Murzagaliyev 11, Kuanov 8, Bazhin 7, Marchuk 4, Chsherbak 0, Lapchenko 0, Gavrilov 0.

Philippines 88 – Pringle 29, Fajardo 14, Lassiter 13, Tenorio 8, Norwood 7, Thompson 6, Wright 5, Aguilar 4, Erram 2, Cabagnot 0, Belga 0, Slaughter 0.

Quarters: 17-18, 40-39, 65-62, 92-88

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express


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