MANILA, Philippines—Roger Pogoy refused to give up despite Gilas Pilipinas’ slim chances of qualifying for the next round after absorbing their second straight loss in the Fiba World Cup 2023.
Gilas Pilipinas fell to Angola, 80-70, on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum but Pogoy remained defiant with Gilas still has a shot at making the second round as long as it beats Italy in its final Group A assignment on Tuesday.
“We’re going to keep fighting because we still have a game left. So we’re not going to give up,” said Pogoy, who scored eight points in 20 minutes of playing time, in Filipino.
Pogoy was part of the 2019 Gilas squad, which also dropped a heartbreaking 84-81 loss to Angola in overtime in the 2014 World Cup in Foshan, China.
Pogoy lamented Gilas’ lapses that allowed the Black Antelopes to make crucial three-pointers and dominate Gilas in the rebounding department with 20 offensive boards.
“We lost steam and they hit a lot of crucial 3-pointers. They also beat us with their offensive rebounds. We’re going to look at the video and assess how we lost that game,” the TNT swingman said.
Pogoy also expressed his gratitude to the 12,784 fans, who cheered for Gilas at the Big Dome.
“I’m grateful for them because of their overwhelming support for us,” the two-time World Cup campaigner said.
Pogoy and the rest of Gilas are going to need more of that boost from the home crowd when they clash with world No. 10 Italy, which is also hellbent on bouncing back after an 87-82 loss to Karl-Anthony Towns and the Dominican Republic on Sunday.
A win keeps Gilas’ bid to advance going.
However, the Philippines’ outright Olympic bid by becoming the best-placing Asian team in the World Cup is in peril after co-host Japan became the first team from the continent to win a game this tournament after stunning Finland.
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