After pulling off a morale-boosting win on the road over Chinese Taipei, Gilas Pilipinas is bracing for a titanic rematch with powerhouse Australia on Monday, July 2 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue Bulacan.
The Boomers suffered a surprising setback to lowly Japan and will be going to the game against the Philippine national basketball team with a burning desire to bounce back.
“We know how strong Australia is especially now that they just dropped a game to Japan,” said Gilas coach Chot Reyes during Friday’s post-game press conference.
Both teams are sporting identical 4-1 records with the winner of the grudge match taking the top spot in Group B.
NBA players Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker, both from the Milwaukee Bucks, played their first game for the Boomers in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers but their presence and contributions hardly mattered as the visiting Australians lost their first game of the tournament.
Maker finished with 13 points and 12 boards while Dellavedova had 4 points and 8 assists in the losing cause.
Despite momentum being on the Philippine side, Reyes is not taking any chances and is expecting a tough battle with the visitors.
“They will be coming out like wounded tigers against us on Monday. We just have to be ready. We just have to come in and play our best,” said Reyes.