Gilas Pilipinas’ path to the quarterfinals just got a whole lot tougher.
The Philippine national basketball team gave a good account of themselves against their perennial tormentor but fell short anew as the Kiwis asserted their supremacy by pulling off a 17-point victory, 92-75, Sunday in the group stage of the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup at the Istora Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Tall Blacks improved to 2-1 while Gilas fell to 1-2 and settled for a knockout clash with Japan for the right to advance to the next round.
Kiefer Ravena led the charge for Gilas and scored a tournament-best 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting to go with 6 rebounds and 3 assists in 22 minutes of play.
Despite finishing the match with only 1 turnover, Gilas got bludgeoned in the battle of the boards, 61-28. So dominating were the Tall Blacks that they outrebounded the Filipinos in the first frame by 20, 21-1.
“We lost the game in the first quarter. Got outrebounded by 33 rebounds. There is no way for us to win a ballgame getting outrebounded that way,” said Gilas head coach Chot Reyes.
“But we told the players today at the dugout after the game, we still have a chance, one more against Japan to get to the top eight,” he added.
Kevin Quiambao and Carl Tamayo chipped in 14 points apiece while Ray Parks rounded up the double-digit scorers with 10.
Gilas’ game against Japan is set on Tuesday, July 19 with the time yet to be determined. The winner will advance to the quarters and will take on Group A top seed Australia.