FOSHAN - Gilas Pilipinas botched a potential game-winning play in the last 5.2 seconds in regulation and dropped an 81-84 overtime loss to Angola at the close of Group D play in the first round of the 2019 FIBA World Cup here.
The Nationals actually took the early initiative in the extra period but failed to sustain the momentum, thus, ending up winless in three games in the group stage.
They carry over a 0-3 card while the Angolans will be at 1-2 as they head into their classification round grouping in Beijing with Iran and either Puerto Rico or Tunisia.
Team Phl actually had a chance to send the game into second OT but Kiefer Ravena, one of the sparkplugs in their fightback from 11 points down early in the fourth, muffed a three-point attempt in the dying seconds.
Andray Blatche delivered the numbers expected of him - 23 points and 12 rebounds - while Perez (with 17 markers) and Robert Bolick (with 10) continued to impress but their efforts were not enough to save Team Phl from a shutout.
The Nationals missed a potential win in regulation as they couldn't run a good play in the last five seconds coming from a timeout.
Perez held on to the ball for a long while before making a move - a pull-up from way out that went way off.
Then after squandering an early three-point lead in the extension play, Team Phl failed to recover and thus suffered a third loss after blowouts against Italy (62-108) and Serbia (67-126).
Numerous Gilas errors in the third allowed the Angolans to rip the game open at 46-36, and they went on to stretch their lead to 61-49 at the start of the fourth.
But the Nationals were able to come back behind Blatche, Ravena, Perez and Bolick.
It helped that the Nationals finally found their mark from afar - something that had eluded them all tournament long.
Back-to-back treys by Perez and RR Pogoy shoved Team Phl ahead at 67-63.
But they just couldn't finish off the Angolans. (SB)