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2014 FIBA World Cup NEWS - Gilas Pilipinas falls short in heartbreaker vs Argentina

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Gilas Pilipinas falls short in heartbreaker vs Argentina The mighty fighting heart of team captain Jimmy Alapag carried the Philippines in the fourth quarter, but the team could not quite get over the hump against traditional world power Argentina to drop an 85-81 heartbreaker early Tuesday morning in Seville, Spain. Gilas Pilipinas dropped its third straight loss in the 2014 FIBA World Cup, with this one perhaps the most painful. Alapag's hit four three-pointers in the fourth period, including the last to put Gilas within a single point, 82-81, with less than two minutes remaining. The Philippines had a golden chance to tie the game or take the lead after Argentinian veteran Andres Nocioni split his free throws. But Jayson Castro turned the ball over with 12 seconds left, dealing a final blow to the Philippines' chances. It was a tough result for the Philippines, which had a blistering start to take a 12-2 lead against the world's third-ranked team. This was despite the fact that naturalized center Andray Blatche sat out most of the first half after committing two quick fouls. But Argentina, behind longtime star forward Luis Scola, came charging back, taking a 43-38 lead at halftime. The South Americans took control in the third period, erecting a 15-point lead. Just when all looked lost, Gilas came charging back behind Alapag, perhaps the smallest player in the tournament, a performance that drew much praise despite the defeat. In the end, Scola finished with 19 points and seven rebounds, while Marcos Mata added 17 in the Argentina victory. Ranidel De Ocampo played his best game of the tournament so far, scoring 18 points. Blatche finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds despite his first half foul troubles, while Alapag had 15, all in the second half. Despite the result, the Philippines remain in contention for a place in the round-of-16. Gilas takes on Puerto Rico on Wednesday before wrapping up its campaign on Thursday against Senegal.