Larry Fonacier launches a three pointer in their match against Chinese-Taipei. The Philippines knelt to Taiwan, 79-84. | Photo by KC Cruz, GMA News
By Angelica Abello

It is not how you start the game but how you end it.

 Gilas Pilipinas squandered their 13-point lead and ran out of gas in the pay-off period to suffer its first loss at the hands of Chinese-Taipei, 84-79, in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena yesterday evening.

Philippines’ Larry Fonacier sizzled with his beyond the arc shots in the third quarter, firing a back-to-back threes to give Gilas a huge 68-55 lead at the end of the third.

 However, Chinese-Taipei drilled a barrage of threes led by Lu Cheng-Ju to destroy the momentum of Gilas and tied the game at 72-all with 5:11 left in the final canto.

 The host nation tried to keep their opponent at striking distance as ‘the blur’ Jason Castro scored a lay-up to cut their deficit into two, 81-79, with 43 seconds in the ticks but that was the farthest they could reach.

Larry Fonacier led the Philippines banking 21 points including five triples while naturalized player Marcus Douthit added 16 points and 10 boards. The team slid to second spot in Group A after the preliminaries with 2-1 slate.

“I should’ve done a good job rotation of our players. That’s the story of the ball game,” said Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes.

Lu anchored Chinese-Taipei with 22 markers, while Lin Chih-Cheih finished with almost a triple-double, 20 points, 12 assists and nine boards and emerged as the top finisher in Group A.

“It was the three-point shots that killed us,” said former Olympian basketball player Freddie Webb in an interview with TV5.

Taiwan-based squad fired 50% in the rainbow territory, 15 of 30, compared to 10 of 28 of the Philippines.

The Philippine team lagged behind Chinese-Taipei in the opening quarter registering only 19 points compared to Taiwan’s 30, 18 of which came from downtown, but early in the second frame, Fonacier and Jimmy Alapag went on back-to-back treys establishing an 8-0 run to cut the lead into three, 27-30, with 7:38 left to play.

The Philippines will face Japan at the start of the second round tomorrow, August 5, at the same venue.


Taipei, 84 - Lu 22, Lin 20, Tien 18, Tseng 16, Davis 6, Yang 2, Lee 0, Chien 0, Chou 0, Tsai 0, Creighton 0.

Gilas Pilipinas, 79 - Fonacier 21, Douthit 16, De Ocampo 13, William 11, Alapag 9, Norwood 9, Tenorio 0, Chan 0, David 0, Aguilar 0, Pingris 0.

Quarterscores: 30-19, 42-43, 55-68, 84-79

Other results (August 3, 2013):

Jordan def. Saudi Arabia, 63-47; Qatar def. Hong Kong, 87-64; Korea def. Malaysia, 80-58; Iran def. China, 70-51; Kazakhstan def. India, 80-67; Bahrain def. Thailand, 86-62

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