DARWIN, Australia – Leomer Losentes erupted for 35 points as the Philippines defeated New Caledonia, 86-75, Wednesday in the 2019 Arafura Games men’s basketball tournament at the Darwin Basketball Stadium.
Losentes, who scored an MPBL record 41 points for the GenSan Warriors, shot 13 of 21 from the field and also added six assists as the Filipino cagers scored their second win in as many games.
Bon Bulac had 12 points and hit a crucial three that put the Philippines ahead, 84-75, to survive a scare from New Caledonia.
“We showed composure down the stretch,” said head coach Cholo Elegino. “Hindi puwedeng magkalat sa loob. We need to settle down and stable ourselves.”
“Hands down, grabe si Leomer. Binuhat niya ‘yung team. But credit also to the other players who stepped up. Offensively, Leomer took over. Veteran smarts, we need that in our team,” said Elegino.
New Caledonia led early, 13-2, and was ahead 60-59 before Philippines closed the third period with five straight points.
A triple by Losentes gave the Philippines an 81-70 lead, the biggest of the game.
Philippines 86 – Losentes 35, Bulac 12, Morada 9, Arana 7, Fernando 5, Campo 5, Ruiz 4, Espiritu 4, Villamia 3, Manatad 2, San Diego 0, Medrano 0.
New Caledonia 75 – Weber 24, Pallanadi 11, Delaunay-Belleville 10, Boawe 8, Sillant 7, Mathelon 6, Hnawia 4, Abenzoar 3, A. Ha Ho 2, R. Ha Ho 0.
Quarterscores: 25-25; 46-41; 64-60; 86-75.