Gilas Pilipinas kissed their bid for Rio Games goodbye with an 80-89 loss to New Zealand in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila last night.
Up against taller opponents who hit their marks from the distance, the run and gun play of the Filipinos sputtered and fell short after four quarters of play.
The loss came the day after the Gilas squad yielded to France, 54-93, Tuesday night.
With the win against the Philippines, New Zealand clinched a spot in the semifinals where they will be joined by Canada and France . They will play the French men today to determine their ranking going into the final four of the tournament.
Naturalized Filipiono Andray Blatche led Gilas with 30 points while Jayson Castrol delivered 13 points.
Tai Webster topscored for New Zealand with 25 points, Corey Webster tallied 23 markers and Isaac Fotu finished the game with 17 points.
In the game between Canada and Senegal yesterday, Cory Joseph of the Toronto Raptors sank three of four pressure-laden free throws in the dying seconds to lift his team past Senegal 58-55.
Joseph's skill killed off a Senegalese rally that saw the Africans get to within a basket, 55-53, with less than 16 seconds left.
Senegal will play Turkey today in a do-or-die game for a semi-finals berth, with the victors facing the winner in the France-New Zealand contest.
Australia, Argentina, Brazil, China, Lithuania, Nigeria, Spain, the United States and Venezuela have already qualified for the Rio Olympics men's basketball tournament next month.
Two other teams will be added from the winners of the other qualifying tournaments now being held in Italy and Serbia.*
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