Gilas wins match, but loses chance to march on



INCHEON, Korea—The national basketball team logged a win it did not wanted and has no use for in another late collapse that has become a patent more than a habit, bringing with it the Philippines’ campaign that got stalled again on other fronts as the days begin to wither in the already cold 17th Asian Games.

The cagers ended their three-game losing dive with a 67-65 win over Kazakhstan.
But like an anomaly of a shot by Marcus Douthit in the Kazakhs’ basket in the hope of forging overtime, the Kazakhs celebrated their loss and Gilas Pilipinas went home in gloom again.

Gilas needed to win by more than 10 points over Kazakhstan. But they need not wait for the result of the Korea-Qatar match later last night as they have failed to achieve their first goal before they could even pray for a Korea win.

That shot by Douthit at the opponent’s basket was disallowed, and Gilas accepted the win as just another meaningless tab in their record.

“We’re out officially of the Asian Games. Sad day for Philippine basketball,” said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president and the team’s chief benefactor Manny V. Pangilinan. “Back to the drawing board – let’s just move on. We must keep in mind that the road to the Asian Championship will be long and tough, and the climb will be steep. The important thing though is to show we’re improving – however gradually. Mabuhay Pilipinas!”

Team Philippines remained stuck in its previous haul of two silver medals from wushu and a bronze each from wushu and archery as the Games begin to wind down to its last six days with only bets in athletics, boxing, taekwondo, soft tennis, rugby, softball, bowling, BMX cycling, equestrian, karatedo and wrestling left to keep the flag aloft.

But the realistic chances are only with about five of these sports.

One gold medal could be won Monday if Marestella Torres makes true her vow in the women’s long jump of athletics.

Patafa (Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association) president Philip Ella Juico is confident Torres’ previous jump of 6.71 meters she set in a gold medal win in the 2013 SEA Games in Palembang, Indonesia would lift her up.

Boxing had lost its women fighters when Josie Gabuco bowed to Vietnam’s Le Thi Bang, 0-3, in their flyweight quarterfinal fight, while Nesthy Petecio was also denied a chance at a sure bronze medal when she lost to Yin Junhua of China, 0-3, in their lightweight quarterfinal duel.

But lightflyweight Marc Anthony Barriga, on whose shoulders lie one of the country’s hope for a gold medal, pummeled a bloodied Tosho Kashiwasaki of Japan in a unanimous decision win that kept his bid running.

That win placed him in the quarterfinals where a win would assure him of a bronze medal.

Cyclist Ronald Oranza held his own in his first Asiad and finished a strong 12th in the men’s road race.

But even the big guns of this event failed to make it to the podium as they guarded each other for naught, allowing their seconds to win in their countries’ behalf, instead.

Oranza was pulled back by a Malaysian and watched the breakaway of eventual gold medalist Jang Kyungu of South Korea and silver medalist Arvin Moazami Godarzi of Iran. They sprinted to the finish but Jang got the better end, surprising the Iranian in the final 200 meters to win in four hours, seven minutes and 52 seconds.

Hong Kong’s Leung Chun Wing was in front of an eight-man third group to salvage bronze 49 seconds after Jang and Godarzi crossed.

Mark John Galedo was stuck with the big guns that included two Pro Tour riders from Japan and one from Iran and crossed with nine others 10 minutes later.

Golfers Princess Superal and Mia Legaspi also tried hard but failed to mount a final round rally, surrendering the medals to Thailand and Korea, which split the two gold medals up for grabs in the women’s division.

Superal, 17, carded a final-round 70 for a four-day total of 284 at the Dream Park Country Club and finished 11th overall, 15 shots behind South Korean Park Gyeol who shot the day’s best round of 64 and amassed a four-day total of 269, taking the individual gold medal from the grasp of Thai Budsabakorn Sukapan.

Legaspi, 15, shot her worst round of 74 in four days and finished at 287, good for 13th overall, while Del Rosario, 16, carded 75 and came up with a 301 total for 22nd overall.

With Del Rosario’s score not counting anew, the Philippines had a final-round total of 144 and finished fifth overall in the team event, its final-day bid to snatch the bronze medal from China or Japan fizzling out.

While Sukapan, 17, lost the individual gold, the Thais bagged the women’s team gold with a runaway total of 538 on the 65 of Benyapa Niphatsophon and 67 of Sukapan.

The Blu Girls took an 8-2 beating from China but with a 1-2 won-lost record still stayed in contention for the semifinals of the softball competitions at the 18th Asian Games.

Hermie Macaranas missed out on a semifinal slot in the men’s 1000m single sprint of canoe after winding up fourth in his group at the Hanami/Misari Canoe-Kayak Center.

The 19-year-old Macaranas, the country’s lone athlete in canoeing, clocked four minutes, 22.704 seconds for fourth place in his semifinals group behind India’s Gaurav Tomar (4:18.953), South Korea’s Kim Taeeun (4:20:838) and Shahriyor (4:22:683) of Tajikistan.

They will join three other finalists from Singapore, Kazakhstan and again from India in the gold-medal race on Monday.

Macaranas’s time on Sunday was far better than the 4:34.09 he registered in Saturday’s heats. He raced in the 200 meters on Saturday but did not finish the race.

The equestrian team of Martin Diego Lorenzo, his brother Mateo Rafael, Joker Arroyo and Marie Antonette Leviste also failed to land a medal in the individual and team jump competitions.

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