Goodbye Olympics: Gilas Pilipinas falls short against Brazil in FIBA OQT

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas failed to book a ticket to the Paris Olympics after a loss against Brazil, 60-71, in FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) on Saturday, July 6.

Gilas Pilipinas falls short against Brazil in FIBA OQT
Gilas ends Olympic dream. Photo courtesy: FIBA website

Gilas started the game strong and held the lead for the whole first half.

At the end of the first quarter, Gilas held the lead against Brazil, 22-12.

Gilas continued to find ways to score and keep the lead at the end of the first half, 33-27.

But entering the second half, it's a whole different story and Brazil is ready to make a run.

For the Gilas side, the second half looks like bad luck for them as they can't find easy baskets and can't execute their plays.

The loss of Gilas against Brazil was just a few days after their big time win over Latvia.

Coach Tim Cone admitted that their loss was heart-wrenching and the loss of Kai Sotto due to injury affected them.

"It's funny, we didn't expect to be here. But now we expected to win. It's very painful we didn't, especially after having a halftime lead. That start of the third quarter was painful to watch. Losing Kai [Sotto] was big for us. We got to be better, we're trying to tell ourselves that almost isn't good enough," Cone said.

In the said loss, Justin Brownlee (15 points and 8 rebounds), Dwight Ramos (13 points) and June Mar Fajardo (10 points and 10 rebounds) stood out and helped the Gilas for the very last second of the game.

Meanwhile for Brazil, big man Bruno Caboclo led the way and finished the game with a double-double performance, 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Brazil will now face Latvia for the final game of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Latvia beats Cameroon to set the match against Brazil.

Whoever wins the match between Brazil and Latvia will enter the Paris Olympics 2024.

— Carl Santiago, The Summit Express

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