Foshan, China, Sep 4 : Angola snatched its first victory at the FIBA Basketball World Cup at the expense of the Philippines 84-81 through overtime in a Group D game here on Wednesday.
The Philippines was behind for most part of the game, coming back into contention in the last 10 minutes to force an overtime. But Angola was a better side in offensive end afterwards, laboring to win after Kiefer Ravena missed a game-tying three-pointer for the Filipino.
Valdelicio Joaquim put up 20 points on the board to lead five Angola's players in double-digit points, along with seven rebounds. Both teams had been destined to play the classifications with two straight losses in as many games ahead of Wednesday's encounter, making their head-to-head as the one for glory.
Andray Blatche, playing several seasons in the Chinese league, became the Philippine attacking spine with 11 points in the first 10 minutes, while Angola rode on a 10-0 run midway for a 21-20 lead as the quarter time ran out.
Fueled by Joaquim's six points into the second period, and partly thanks to the Filipino cool shooting, Angola almost extended its margin to double digits, only to be denied by Robert Bolick's shot behind the arc. Angola went back to the locker room at 38-34 ahead.
Angola compiled a double-figure advantage for the first time through Joaquim's three-pointer halfway in the third quarter. Jaymar Perez single-handedly sparked the Philippines' rally with eight straight points, but their African rival pulled away again, leading 56-46 into the final period.
With 3:51 to go, Roger Pogoy's three-pointer gave the Philippines its first lead since late in the first quarter. Angola's Carlos Morais managed a three-point play into the final minute, responded by Perez's triple in the ensuing attack for 73-all. Then Perez missed the otherwise game-winning three-pointer to drag the match into overtime. Blatche contributed a game-leading 23 points and 12 boards. Perez added 17.
Angola and the Philippines will head to Beijing for their classification round action for places 17-32. Serbia and Italy, both unbeaten in China so far, will vie for the group winner in a later clash here on Wednesday. (UNI-XINHUA)