The Philippines Men’s National Basketball Team bowed out of contention for the second round of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Group Stage after suffering a lopsided defeat against European powerhouse squad Serbia in its second match in Foshan, China.

The fourth ranked team in the world utilized a monster third quarter to pull out a 126-67 blowout win over Gilas Pilipinas, who have now suffered consecutive blowout losses after a similarly frustrating 39-point drubbing at the hands of Italy just two days prior.

Paul Lee Dalistan nailed a short jumper at the 6:01 mark of the first quarter to give the Philippines its first lead at 9-7. However, Serbia countered with a 19-6 run that was sparked by the entrance of NBA All-Star Nikola Jokic, giving them a double-digit advantage to end the opening quarter.

National Team rookie Jaymar ‘CJ’ Perez provided the Filipinos with some instant offense off the bench in the second quarter, scoring three straight layups to cut the deficit back down to 11, but the Serbians capitalized on Gilas Pilipinas turnovers to mount another run, going into the half with a 62-35 lead.

Serbia then proceeded to completely blow the game wide open in the second half, as Gilas Pilipinas still struggled to making their shots, finishing with a less than stellar 37 percent from the field while only making three of their 17 three-point attempts in the game.

Perez continued to impress in his maiden World Cup campaign, scoring 16 points to go with three assists while Dalistan added 13 points. No other Filipino player finished in double-figures.

Nikola Jokic posts up against Andray Blatche (Photo: FIBA)
Nikola Jokic posts up against Andray Blatche (Photo: FIBA)

Meanwhile, four Serbs reached double-figures, led by NBA players Nemanja Bjelica and Bogdan Bogdanovic who scored 20 and 17 points respectively. As a whole, the team shot an outstanding 75 percent from the field.

Only the top two seeds from each group will advance into the second round of the group phase, meaning both Serbia and Italy have qualified, and after suffering two straight losses, the Philippines have now been eliminated from contention.

The Philippines will try to salvage a win in their final game of the first round against African squad Angola on September 4, still at the Foshan International Sports and Cultural Center in Guangdong, China.

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