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    Thu, Dec 1
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    GILAS Pilipinas' late rally fell short in the first of its two friendlies of the undermanned side against host Korea, 96-92, on Friday at Anyang Gymnasium.

    The Filipinos battled back from a 17-point deficit, 83-66 with Dwight Ramos cutting the lead down to just five, 87-82, on a three-point play in the final 1:49.

    Heo Ung, however, had other plans, draining the big three that gave Korea the 90-82 lead.

    [See Gilas Youth campaign ends at hands of Australia]

    Choi Jun Yong and Heo Hoon also canned big buckets in the final minute for the Koreans as they kept the Filipinos at bay down the stretch.

    Ramos cut the deficit to a more respectable four-point spread with a three in the last 10.7 seconds, but time wasn't on the Philippines' side by then.

    Choi led Korea with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists as the hosts also drew solid games from Yeo Jun Seok and naturalized center Ra Gun A.

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      Gilas, which sent just 10 players to Korea after injuries to Dave Ildefonso and naturalized player Ange Kouame, jumped on an early 12-point lead, 43-31, thanks to the superb first-half shooting of RJ Abarrientos and Rhenz Abando.

      Abarrientos had eight points and three assists, while Abando dropped all of his 11 points in the second period. The two, however, went scoreless in the second half.

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      Kiefer Ravena paced Gilas with 22 points, three boards, and two assists, while Ramos got 16 points from a 3-of-5 shooting from downtown, to go with five rebounds.

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        The energy was also high for the Nenad Vucinic-coached side with Carl Tamayo, Kevin Quiambao, and Lebron Lopez making the most of their time on the floor.

        But a tough 37-point third quarter from Korea turned the tides for the Filipinos, with Choi firing 12 in the 23-3 run to fight back from a 55-45 deficit to a 68-58 lead after a Kim Jong Kyu layup with 2:03 left in the third quarter.

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        The two teams face off anew on Saturday.

        Heo Hoon and Yeo fired 17 each for Korea.

        The scores:

        KOREA 96 - Yeo 17, Heo H 17, Choi 16, Heo U 16, Ra 14, Kim 6, Yang 5, Lee DS 2, Song 2, Jang 1.

        PHILIPPINES 92 - Ravena 22, Ramos 16, Tamayo 11, Abando 11, Abarrientos 8, Chiu 6, Navarro 6, Quiambao 6, Belangel 4, Lopez 2.

        Quarters: 16-14, 34-43, 71-63, 96-92.

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        PHOTO: fiba.basketball
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