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    PH cagers suffer first loss in Arafura Games, but still have shot at finals

    May 3, 2019
    PHOTO: reuben terrado

    DARWIN, Australia – The Philippines suffered its first loss in the 2019 Arafura Games men’s basketball tournament after bowing to Northern Territory Top End, 95-85, Friday at the Darwin Basketball Association.

    The Filipino cagers dropped their first of two chances to make it to the finals following a gallant stand against the hometown team.

    The Philippines will play WA Indigenous Friday, 7:30 p.m. (6 p.m. Manila time) in the last game of the day, with a loss relegating the Filipino squad to the bronze medal match slated Saturday.

    Northern Territory Top End will also be seeking a finals berth as it plays WA Indigenous as part of a round-robin playoff between the top teams in each of the three groups to determine which squads will play in the gold medal match.

    Northern Territory Top End scored 10 unanswered points, turning a close 68-65 lead into a 78-65 advantage midway in the game. The closest the Philippines got after that was six points, 82-76, but Northern Territory Top End responded with seven straight baskets.

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    John Rey Manatad had a big game with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Leomer Losentes added 16 points in a losing effort.

    The Philippines played catch up for a huge part of the game, but took the lead, 46-45, after an 11-0 run late in the second period.

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    The scores:

    Northern Territory Top End 95 – Williams 21, Skinner 19, Ellis 18, Hill 13, Sing 11, Bui 9, Bell 4, Goodwin 0, Streeter 0, Hunt 0.

    Philippines 85 – Manatad 22, Losentes 16, Fernando 12, Bulac 10, Morada 7, Ruiz 6, Arana 6, Campo 4, Villarmia 2, Espiritu 0.

    Quarters: 31-24; 51-48; 64-61; 95-85.

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    PHOTO: reuben terrado
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