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Lebanon sends Gilas crashing

Lebanon dealt Gilas Youth a stinging 99-83 defeat yesterday, putting an end to the Filipinos’ three-game winning streak in the quarterfinals of the FIBA U18 Asian Championships Wednesday at the Azadi Basketball Hall in Tehran, Iran.

The Lebanese immediately buckled down to work and gained a 15-5 lead that they didn’t relinquish en route to earning a place in the semifinal round and securing a spot in the 2023 FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup that will be held in Hungary.

The Cedars led by as much as 37 points, 93-56, seven minutes to play when Bryan Mansour buried a triple off a defending James Philip Nacua.

Mansour led the Lebanese with a 28-point eruption to complement his seven rebounds and seven assists while Karim Rtail dropped 25, grabbed six boards and dished off four feeds.
Filipino-Australian Mason Amos, who averaged 24.3 points in the past three games, was handcuffed and wound up with just 11 points on a dismal 3-of-7 shooting clip to go along with seven rebounds and two assists for the Philippines.

Unlike in the elimination round when Gilas Youth flashed its fangs and posted double-digit wins, it wasn’t the case against the Lebanese.

After breezing through their elimination round foes, Gilas Youth will have to contend with the loser of the Chinese-Taipei and Japan match later in the day as they try to salvage a measure of pride in the classification round.

Before ramming against the Lebanese, Gilas Youth fashioned out an 84-73 win over the Taiwanese late Tuesday.

Amos put up monster numbers against Chinese-Taipei, tallying 28 points, hauling six boards and three assists for Gilas Youth, which drew premium performances from Nacua, Joshua Colonel and Seven Gagate.

Nacua fired 16 points laced with four three-pointers while Coronel and Gagate combined for 18 markers to underscore Gilas Youth’s well-balanced attack.

But against the Lebanese, the Filipinos couldn’t get the job done and fell short of advancing to the U19 World Cup. IVAN SUING

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