A poor second half performance doomed Gilas Pilipinas to a 84-72 loss to host team Jordan-A early Saturday (Manila time) in the final elimination game of the King Abdullah Cup at the Prince Hamzah Sport Hall in Amman.
Jordan-A got off to a 16-2 run to start the second half to take the 52-43 lead. Jordan's lead later ballooned to 18-points, 67-49, after a three by Freddie Ibrahim.
Gilas scored seven unanswered points to slice the deficit to 67-56 at the start of the fourth quarter. After an exchange of threes to start the fourth, Carl Tamayo scored four straight to cut the lead to seven, 70-63, 4:44 left.
However, Jordan forward Cameron Forte put in five straight markers to give his side the insurmountable 73-63 lead with 3:31 to go. He finished the game with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
The win puts the hosts firmly in place for the second seed in the knockout semifinals at 3-1, while the Philippines will settle for third at 2-2. The two will face again on Sunday at midnight, in the same venue.
Due to Tunisia (2-2) beating erstwhile undefeated Egypt (3-1) in the previous contest, they will battle in the other knockout semis bracket at the fourth and top spot, respectively.
Jordan zoomed to an early eight point lead in the first, 14-6, after an and-one opportunity by Amin Abu Hawwas, but failed to convert the bonus free throw at the 4:53 mark.
The Philippines responded with an 8-2 run of their own to trim the gap to two, 16-14, courtesy of a three-pointer by Jordan Heading. Jordan eventually took an 18-16 lead after the opening quarter.
Gilas opened the second chapter with a rousing 16-3 run to go ahead by as 11, 32-21, but Jordan was able to stop the bleeding by mounting their own 15-6 blitz to come within two, 38-36, 21 seconds left.
RJ Abarrientos then swished one from rainbow country just before the halftime buzzer to create a five-point cushion, 41-36.
Heading led the Filipinos with 15 points built on four threes. Carl Tamayo chipped in 14 markers.
JORDAN-A (84) -- Al Dwairi 23, Forte 22, Mustafa 12, Abu Hawwas 12, Bzai 6, Alhamarsheh 3, Kanaan 3, Darwish 3, Abdeen 0, Hussein 0, Abuwazaneh 0, Obeid 0, Hazaimeh 0.
PHILIPPINES (72) -- Heading 15, Tamayo 14, Suerte 13, Baltazar 10, Kouame 5, Go 5, Ravena 4, Ildefonso 3, Abarrientos 3, Ramos 0, Belangel 0, Navarro 0, Mi. Nieto 0, Ma. Nieto 0, Chiu 0. Quarter Scores: 18-16, 36-41, 67-56, 84-72.