By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
WORLD NO. 4 Serbia handed Gilas Pilipinas a crushing defeat, 126-67, knocking them out of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
The PH squad gave all that they could, throwing everything they had against a Serbian team that was just too much to handle.
The Serbian powerhouse outrebounded, out-muscled, and torched Gilas, crushing any sign of hope as the game progressed.
Despite the beating, Gilas matched the Serbian attack in the first half, as they gathered enough stops and cashed in baskets to keep the game within arm’s reach.
The second half was a different story as NBA stars Nikola Jokic and Bogdan Bogdanovic took over the game with their scoring and passing, intimidating the Filipinos with their court vision and explosiveness.
CJ Perez and June Mar Fajardo once again displayed solid numbers in the loss, as both players scored 16 and 8 respectively.
Fajardo made his presence felt in the paint as soon as he entered the hardwood, as he grabbed an offensive rebound against three Serbians and dished a pretty assist to a cutting Perez.
The five-time PBA MVP’s array of moves in the shaded area was also in full display, as he scored on a couple of baskets against the giants of Serbia, including NBA player Boban Marjanovic.
Serbia will move on to the next stage while Gilas was left with their matchup against Angola to finish their bracket eliminations.
Tip-off against Angola is today, 3:30 p.m.