The Filipino ballers gave the fans something to cheer about, especially in the second half.
Gilas Pilipinas was two Scottie Thompson free throws away from completing a come-from-behind win against Jordan in the final game of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.
But no one’s blaming Thompson, who botched a pair of of freebies with still 31.3 seconds remaining in the game.
After all, he was one of the reasons the Filipinos inched closer after being down by as much as 25 points, finishing with 9 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists in the heartbreaking 90-91 defeat at the hands of the Jordanians.
Despite the loss, the team gave the fans a performance to remember. Here are some of the best moments in Monday’s match at the Philippine Arena.
Jamie Malonzo cleanup
The Barangay Ginebra Gin King once again proved his value as a member of a Gilas team as he made his presence felt on both ends of the floor. And it was evident in this play in the opening salvo.
As the Jordanians buried Gilas with one booming three-pointer after another, the high-flying Malonzo gave the fans something to cheer about.
Justin Brownlee show
After a quiet game in the first period, the beloved naturalized Filipino carried the team on his broad shoulders, firing 17 points built on 3 three-pointers and grabbed 5 rebounds in the third quarter alone.
With him leading the charge, Gilas outscored Jordan, 23-10, in the third quarter to close the gap, 64-70, entering the final quarter.
Kabayan finished with 41 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 assists in 35 minutes of play.
Ray Parks with booming 3
Before missing the potential-game winner as time expired, Parks hit an open triple that tied the game for the first time since the opening minutes of the match.
There was nothing really spectacular about the shot. But it came in the heat of Gilas' furious comeback from what initially looked like an insurmountable lead.
Cheers reached a crescendo when he made that shot with 5 minutes and 23 seconds to go, and it was a nip-and-tuck battle from there.
Brownlee found an open lane from the top of key off a ball screen, then took off for an emphatic throw down against Zaid Abbas.
What more can you ask from this guy?
Again, it was not the result we all wanted. But Gilas gave us all plenty of reasons to cheer nonetheless by fighting back with pride after a disastrously slow start.
Now, it's on to the World Cup.