TAIPEI, Taiwan — The first win remained elusive through three games for Rain or Shine as United Arab Emirates escaped with a pulsating 73-71 decision in the 2023 William Jones Cup at the Taipei Heping Gymnasium here on Monday.
The Elasto Painters faltered in the end game as Hamid Abdulateef Abreiki poured 15 of his 22 points in the final frame to frustrate the Filipinos and pick up his team’s first win in the tournament.
Six of those fourth quarter points also came in the last two minutes, including a triple that put UAE ahead, 71-69.
The Filipinos, though, had their chances in the end game after Nick Demusis pushed the Elasto Painters closer at 71-72.
The Elasto Painters, however, came up dry in their possession in the final 24 seconds, forcing them to foul and send veteran big man Quais Alshabebi to the foul line with four ticks left in the clock.
Alshabebi botched his two free throws but got his own rebound allowing Abreiki to stretch the lead to two, 71-73.
Gian Mamuyac had one last heave to try and steal the game but his three-point attempt was likewise foiled by UAE’s defense at the buzzer.
Alshabebi finished with 11 points while Rashed Alzaabi added 10.