Gallant Gilas Pilipinas falls short against mighty Serbia in FIBA OQT

MANILA, Philippines – The all-cadet Gilas Pilipinas made a gallant stand before falling short against world No. 5 and host team Serbia, 83-76, in their Olympic qualifier matchup at the Aleksandar Nikolic Hall in Belgrade, Serbia on Thursday.

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Gilas played without fear versus the Rio Games silver medalists. But Serbia escaped through and advanced to the semifinals while sending the Filipino cagers to a do-or-die game with the Dominican Republic.

SEE ALSO: Schedule, livestream: Gilas Pilipinas at FIBA OQT 2021

Even without Gilas top player Dwight Ramos (with groin injury), the Nationals pushed Serbia to the limit and even catched lead at 74-73 in the last quarter of the game.

But Boban Marjanovik saved Serbia from a huge upset and scored back-to-back baskets underneath to give Serbia a three-point buffer with 2:19 left.

Marjanovik, a center for the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA, came through with 25 points and 10 rebounds while gunners Ognjen Dobric, Milos Teodesic and Danilo Andjusic fired at least 12 markers each.

Angelo Kouame led the Philippines with 17 points on 8-for-15 shooting to go with seven boards, three blocks and two assists. Eight of his points came in that pivotal third period for Gilas.

Jordan Heading came up big as well and added 13 points on 4-for-5 shooting from downtown, while Baltazar and Kai Sotto added 10 each.

The Scores:

SERBIA 83 -- Marjanovic 25, Dobric 16, Teodosic 13, Andjusic 12, Petrusev 8, Davidovac 5, Milosavljevic 2, Jovic 2, Avramovic 0.

PHILIPPINES 76 -- Kouame 17, Heading 13, Sotto 10, Baltazar 10, Abarrientos 9, Tamayo 5, Navarro 4, Go 4, Belangel 2, Nieto 2.

Quarters: 22-16, 45-34, 67-62, 83-76.

— The Summit Express

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