The Philippines is in a must-win situation when it faces Qatar on Monday in the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers on Monday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With a solid grip of the third place in Group F at stake, the Filipinos need to fare better from long range against the bottomed-ranked Qataries if they want to improve their chance of advancing to the World Cup.
Against Iran, Gilas Pilipinas’ shooters went ice cold just as the Iranians started hitting their stride to make up for the absence of the towering Hamed Haddadi, who only played briefly when the game was already decided.
San Miguel teammates Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter, both considered long-range threats in the PBA, couldn’t knock down their shots in the 81-73 loss in Tehran, combined just 2-of-14 from deep.
While Iran just went 7-of-22 from beyond the arc, just two more than the Philippines hit, their baskets came at the most opportune time to pull away after three close quarters.
Oddly, the three Gilas players who hit their threes were Asi Taulava, Beau Belga, and Scottie Thompson.
If coach Yeng Guiao calls up Lassiter and Cabagnot for the Qatar game, the Filipinos have a better chance to avoid any upsets Qatar if the Beermen version of Cabagnot and Lassiter surface.
Cabagnot was a 28 percent shooter from deep in the 2017-2018 PBA season hitting 28 of his 100 three-point attempts while Lassiter has a better clip of 35.05% and making 68 of his 194 attempts.
As a team, the Philippines is at 12th in the tournament with a 28.5% conversion rate but that’s already a better mark than Qatar’s 26.9%.
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