REY NAMBATAC and Jerie Pingoy converted crucial baskets in the end game as the Philippines repulsed erstwhile undefeated Chinese Taipei, 88-83, on Tuesday to clinch a spot in the quarterfinal round of the Fiba-Asia Under-18 Championships in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia.
Nambatac’s go-ahead putback after a missed three-pointer by Pingoy with one minute and 11 seconds left gave Energen-Pilipinas an 83-82 lead.
Then, Pingoy nailed a three-point play to widen the gap to four points with 46 seconds left, 86-82.
After what national coach Olsen Racela described as the most important game of the second round, the Filipino cagers improved their win-loss record to 3-1 against Group F teams, tying Chinese Taipei in the standings.
The Filipino cagers have actually won four games in the tournament which include the victory over the already-eliminated Kazakhstan in the preliminaries.
Pingoy led the Nationals with 25 points while J-Jay Alejandro added 22 points behind a 3-of-6 clip from three-point range to go with nine rebounds. Nambatac had 10 points.
Energen-Pilipinas scored the final 12 points of the second quarter for a 43-34 halftime lead.
The Nationals took a 52-46 lead but Chinese Taipei was able to wrest the advantage, 63-64, entering the fourth quarter.
Lin Kuan-chun converted two free throws for an 80-77 lead with 2:51 remaining in the fourth but Javelosa pulled the Nationals back within one point.
The Philippines wrap up its second-round campaign against Bahrain on Wednesday.
PHILIPPINES (88) – Pingoy 25, Alejandro 22, Nambatac 10, Javelosa 6, Suarez 6, Cani 5, Olayon 5, Rivero 5, Babilonia 2, Porter 2, Lao 0.
CHINESE TAIPEI (83) – Lin 25, Li 16, Fan 16, H.H. Huang 9, Chiu 6, Lee 6, Wu 3, Lu 2, T.H. Huang 0, Cheng 0, Chin 0.
Quarterscores: 17-14; 43-34; 63-64; 88-83.