ENERGEN-PILIPINAS settled for sixth place in the FIBA-Asia U18 Championships following a sorry 89-85 loss to Chinese Taipei on the final day of the tournament on Sunday Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia.
The Filipino cagers fought valiantly after the Taiwanese pulled away behind an 11-0 run near the end of the third quarter but came up short in the end.
Despite a 66-78 deficit with less than two minutes to play in the fourth, the Filipino cagers clawed their way back and threatened at 85-87 with 13 seconds left on two free throws by Jerie Pingoy.
Time, however, was not on the the Nationals' side as Kuan Chun Lin converted a pair of free throws with 12 seconds to settle the final count.
Pingoy missed a last ditch three-pointer at the final buzzer.
Olsen Racela, the national head coach, used his Twitter account @thebigOls to thank the Filipino people for their support.
“Maraming salamat po sa lahat ng sumuporta sa Energen Pilipinas! Isang malaking karangalan para sa amin na makapaglingkod sa ating bansa,” said Racela, who will be coaching the Petron Blaze Boosters in the PBA in the coming 38th season.
J-Jay Alejandro led Energen-Pilipinas with 22 points, while Pingoy and Bonleon each had 15.
The Filipino youth cagers failed to repeat over Chinese Taipei, a team they beat in the second round of the tournament to clinch a quarterfinals berth.
The Philippines, however, bowed out of contention for the gold when it lost to Korea, 77-90, in the round-of-eight.
In the relegation round, the Filipinos beat Lebanon, 80-69, but lost to Chinese Taipei.
CHINESE TAIPEI (89) – Fan 21, Lin 17, Wu 16, Lu 10, H. H. Huang 8, Li 6, Chin 6, Lee 3, Chiu 2, T. H. Huang 0.
PHILIPPINES (85) – Alejandro 22, Pingoy 15, Bonleon 15, Nambatac 7, Babilonia 6, Suarez 6, Cani 5, Rivero 4, Olayon 3, Lao 2, Porter 0.
Quarterscores: 22-20; 35-34; 60-48; 89-85.