Gilas PH shows fans what to expect in China

IN ITS final tune-up game before the 2015 FIBA-Asia Championship, Gilas Pilipinas showed its countrymen that they will have plenty to cheer for.

The Philippine National team ended its series of tune-up games on a very emphatic note, convincingly turning back Chinese Taipei, 90-77, to take the 2015 Master Game Face MVP Cup title yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Gilas Pilipinas ended the three-day pocket tournament with a clean 3-0 sweep to take the crown and continue its growth in the homestretch of its preparations for the FIBA-Asia tournament, which starts in nine days.

Calvin Abueva helped Gilas’ cause with 11 points, on five-of-nine shooting, to go with six rebounds.

Entering this final game of the tournament against Chinese Taipei, Gilas Pilipinas knew coming in that it already clinched the title after winning its first two games against Talk ‘N Text and New Zealand.

However, there was still that urgency to perform well, knowing that this is the team’s final on-court display before flying to China next week for the big Asian tournament, which will be held from Sept. 23 to Oct. 3, wherein the champion will earn Asia’s only ticket to the Rio Olympics next year.

The Nationals did not disappoint as they showed their fellow Filipinos that they are on their way to be in a better fighting form ahead of the FIBA-Asia tilt.

Right from the get-go, the nationals showcased their smooth execution on both ends, racing to sizeable double-digit lead, 27-12, right away just after the first nine minutes of action after a blazing start before eventually carrying a bigger 27-15 spread at the end of one.

From there, it was about maintaining its high level of play for Smart Gilas, stretching its already large lead further to 18 points, 35-17, after Gary David’s triple at the 7:33 mark of the second quarter.

At the half, Smart Gilas still had a healthy 46-34 advantage.

In the second half, it was basically the same story as the Philippines prolonged its control of the Taiwanese squad on its way to an overall impressive victory.

The largest lead for Smart Gilas grew by as much as 20 points, 81-61, after Abueva putback with 7:31 remaining in the game.

Following that, Chinese Taipei wasn’t about to go down without a fight as it made a last-ditch effort with a 14-2 run that gave it a bit of life as the gap was down to eight, 83-75, with 3:32 left.

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