The Phiippines is hanging on a thread in in the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers after its 92-88 loss to Kazakhstan Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Instead of tying Iran at the second place of Group F in the second round with a 6-3 record, Gilas Pilipinas fell to a 5-4 record fir a perilous third-place tie with Japan.
And in just two days the Philippines will have to face the Iranians in an attempt to make up for lost ground, a game the Filipinos badly need in order for them to contend for a spot in the 2019 Fiba Basketball World Cup in China.
Shooting guard Marcio Lassiter said they have no choice but to move on from the defeat no matter how painful it was.
“It’s disappointing but at the same time we still have a chance and that’s all we can ask for that we still have a chance at this,” said Lassiter Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Lassiter finished with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting including a clutch three-pointer that cut the deficit to two, 90-88, with 26.1 seconds left in the game.
Kazakhstan, however, was able to score on the next possession on Anton Bykov’s layup with 12.7 seconds remaining.
The loss put the Philippines in a bad spot since only the top three teams and the better of the two fourth placers in Groups E and F will advance to China for the World Cup.
Gilas Pilipinas has to at least take sole possession of the third spot in Group F to prevent any complications through the course of the tournament.
Lassiter said that this situation is a tough test for them and that they have to quickly move on and not dwell on the disappointment.
“We have to learn from our mistakes. This will test our character especially now that we have our backs against the wall,” said Lassiter. “This is definitely a test to ourselves and we’ll work out on what we have to do. We made mistakes and we have to figure out what we did wrong.”
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