GILAS Pilipinas fell short of bagging third place in the King Abdullah Cup after absorbing an 80-68 defeat against Tunisia Sunday night at the Prince Hamza Hall in Amman, Jordan.
The Filipinos played minus naturalized player Angelo Kouame, but still gave the opposition a stiff run for its money before folding up in the endgame and settled for fourth place at the close of the five-nation meet.
Carl Tamayo finished with 14 points to pace Gilas, which rallied back from a 16-point deficit and threatened at 69-66 with 4:22 left in the game on a basket by Thirdy Ravena.
Unfortunately, an unsportsmanlike foul assessed on Tamayo stymied the rally as Tunisia was quick to take advantage behind five quick unanswered points courtesy of Jawher Jawadi and Omar Abada that stretched the lead to eight points entering the final two minutes of play.
SJ Belangel was the other player in double figures for Gilas with 10, while 2019 PBA special draftee Isaac Go added nine points and four rebounds.
The Filipinos capped their campaign with a 2-4 record, losing their final three games, including back-to-back against host team Jordan. Their two victories came at the expense of Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.
Dwight Ramos had seven points and two rebounds for Gilas, even as Justine Baltazar scored six and had 10 rebounds to make up for the absence of Kouame in the middle.
The win by Tunisia avenged its earlier loss to the Filipinos in overtime, 74-73, during the preliminary.
Jawadi led the winning team with 21 points and six rebounds, while his backcourt partner Abada came through with 19 and six boards.(RG)