GILAS Pilipinas 5.0 lost steam in the final period and dropped a 76-87 loss to Chinese Taipei on Sunday night - its second straight in Group B in the Fiba Asia Challenge Cup in Tehran, Iran.
The Taiwanese relied heavily on naturalized player Quincy Davis to overcome a strong start by the Philippines and roll to their second successive win heading to the second round.
Davis finished with 19 points and 16 rebounds for the Taiwanese in a fitting follow-up to their equally dominant 99-66 victory over India on Saturday.
The big man helped spark a spirited 25-10 rally that turned a 62-all third quarter count into a commanding 87-72 lead for Gilas' longtime regional rivals with 1 minute 26 seconds to go.
Gilas ended the group stage with two losses and finished third in Group B behind unbeaten Chinese Taipei and India, which holds a 1-1 card.
Worse, the Filipinos face an even tougher road in the next round where it will face China, Kazakhstan, and Jordan, needing to win at least two games to advance to the quarterfinals.
The inexperienced Filipinos, though, showed promise in the first two games. They got their bearings going early, only to sputter in the fourth period when it mattered most.
Mac Belo once again led Gilas with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Mike Tolomia and Kevin Ferrer added 11 apiece.
But it was CJ Perez who was intrumental in the team's hot start, leading the Filipinos with nine of his 15 points in the first 20 minutes of action to help the team take a 43-38 lead heading into the break.