|Ray-Ray Parks and Geo Chiu could only watch as Sergio El Darwich takes flight. FIBA|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA–Gilas Pilipinas came up short of completing a comeback to open its campaign in the FIBA Asia Cup and fell prey to Lebanon, 80-95, on Wednesday at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta.
Lebanon’s recovery from Gilas’ solid start turned out to be enough as the Filipino side still tried to steal the game in the fourth quarter.
Gilas looked poised to walk away with the win early on after ending the first quarter ahead, 27-22.
However, Lebanon held Gilas to only 12 second-quarter points while exploding for 33 third-quarter points to open a 79-58 advantage entering the fourth quarter.
Gilas came alive at the start of the final canto, going on a 16-4 run to come to within nine, 74-83, with 4:42 remaining.
However, they fizzled in the end as the Lebanese side finished the game strong to seal the blowout win.
Wael Arakji finished with 20 points, one rebound, four assists, one steal, and one block, while Jonathan Arledge and Hayk Gyokchyan each added 19 markers for Lebanon.
SJ Belangel fired 17 points with three assists and two steals for Gilas.
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