THE END OF the road came for the Smart-Gilas Pilipinas in the 24th Dubai International basketball tournament as they got whipped by Sagesse of Lebanon by a whopping 30 points, 65-95, in the quarterfinals yesterday early morning at the Al Ahli gym in Dubai.
Sagesse surged ahead early on and did not let off the gas pedal until the very end to get the win and advance to the semifinal round.
The Beirut-based squad simply had too much firepower for the Gilas to contend with as they boasted of imports DeShawn Sims, Aaron Harper and Chudney Gray along with Lebanon national squad mainstays Ibrahim Ahmad, Elie Stephan and Julian Khazzou.
The Nationals, on the other hand, just could not keep up with their opponents in spite getting 32 points from Air21 gunner KG Canaleta, who shot in eight three-pointers.
Gilas head coach Chot Reyes apologize for his team’s sorry exit from the tournament via Twitter.
“Pasensya na mga kababayan. Hindi talaga kaya,” he said. The team was primarily composed of standouts from the UAAP and NCAA and reinforced by three PBA players and naturalized player Marcus Douthit.
The Nationals finished the tournament with just one win to their name, a 79-77 victory over Mouttahed in their first game.
Next up for the Gilas will be the King’s Cup in Hong Kong next week. /Correspondent Jonas Panerio