De Ocampo shines, Gilas enter quarters

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Thursday, July 17, 2014


GILAS Pilipinas forward Ranidel De Ocampo buried the game-winning trey over the outstretched hands of Rasheem Wright with 35.2 seconds left as the Team Gilas Pilipinas survived a 71-70 thriller over Jordan Tuesday night to book a quarter-finals spot in the ongoing 2014 FIBA Asia Cup in Wuhan, China.

Gilas swept the group with a clean 3-0, win-loss slate.

Jordan's Wesam Al-Seos had several opportunities to win the game but he missed out an open lane to the basket and opted to shoot a corner three-pointer that missed as the buzzer sounded.

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Gilas guard Paul Lee paced the team with 16 points as Ranidel De Ocampo and naturalized center Marcus Douthit chipped in 14 points and 13 points, respectively.

De Ocampo and Douthit duo combined for the 15 of Gilas' 39 rebounds.

Jordan guard Al-seos, for his part, posted 14 points (3-5 3pt fgs) while naturalized point guard Wright made 11 for the team mentored by former Gilas coach Rajko Toroman.

The Chot Reyes-coached Gilas will have a crack against the fourth-seeded India from Group A in the quarterfinals as Jordan dropped to a 1-2 record.

Both teams were tied at 30-all at the break, but Jordan eked out a 7-0 run to snatch a 52-49 lead. Lee and De Ocampo's efforts put the Gilas with striking distance as teammate Beau Belga contributed seven points and grabbed four rebounds at the start of the second half.

Wright, however, wouldn't give up as he answered a three-point play to cut the Gilas lead to one, 66-65. Yet, De Ocampo delivered big in the final two minutes, sinking five points to secure the win. Quarter-final games are set today, Thursday.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 17, 2014.

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