What was expected to be a rude welcoming by Gilas Pilipinas turned into an opening day shocker for newcomer Palestine.
Gilas Pilipinas blew a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter and lost to tournament first-timer Palestine, 75-73, at the start of the 2015 Fiba Asia Championship Wednesday in Changsha, China.
Palestine’s Sani Sakakini made the game-winning basket, converting a three-point play with 15.8 seconds left, to freeze the final score for the unranked Palestinians.
Andray Blatche put Gilas back in front, 73-72, with about a minute left before Sakakini completed Palestine’s comeback from 11 points down in the final quarter.
Jamal Abu Shamala led Palestine with 26 points, including back-to-back triples that gave them the first taste the lead after playing catch up, 72-71,with 1:34 remaining.
The Philippines looks to redeem itself against Hong Kong on Thursday as the preliminary round continues.