Gilas PH crush hapless Hong Kong by 51 points
(Preliminary Round – Group B)
4:45 p.m. • Smart Gilas Pilipinas vs. Kuwait
GILAS Pilipinas showcased a resounding bounce-back effort it badly needed, venting its ire on Hong Kong in a merciless 51-point drubbing, 101-50, to emphatically pick up its first victory in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship at the Changsa Social Work College’s Gymnasium in Changsa, China yesterday.
Bouncing back from his lackluster opening-game showing, Jayson Castro was steady in spearheading Gilas’ attack, firing a team-high 21 points, while drilling five triples on top of five rebounds and two assists, while naturalized star Andray Blatche continued to make a significant contribution as he added 17 markers and eight rebounds as the Philippines’ 1-2 punch got it going.
The Philippines, which finally got the fluidity it was looking for, improved to 1-1 in Group B and is now in a good shape to make it to the next phase.
National coach Tab Baldwin said that this satisfying victory is just a sign of things to come for Smart Gilas.
“That was just the start of our road to redemption,’’ said Baldwin. “We don’t redeem ourselves until we wipe out every bit of doubt in everybody’s mind. That’s who we are. It’s important that everybody that’s part of Philippine basketball knows that this team has ‘Puso’ and that we’ll show it every time we step on the floor.’’
Gilas continues its campaign today when it locks horns with Kuwait at 4:45 p.m. in the same venue in its final game in the preliminary round. The Filipinos need to secure this win for them to formalize and solidify their entry in the second round, where the Top 3 teams of Groups A and B will be combined to form Group E.
With a sense of urgency, Gilas, just like what it did against Palestine, came out of the gates with guns blazing.
Firing from all cylinders early on, Gilas zoomed to a rousing 20-2 jumpstart for an 18-point cushion after Terrence Romeo’s triple at the 4:39 mark of the first canto that gave it complete command right away with just a few minutes into the game. At the end of one, Gilas Pilipinas was already comfortably ahead, 28-15.