A Gilas Pilipinas offense that clicked from all cylinders opened the second window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers with a bang by blasting Thailand, 93-61, Friday at the Khalifa Sport City in Manama, Bahrain.
Dwight Ramos was flawless for Gilas, scoring 20 points on 7-for-7 shooting to go with seven rebounds, three assists and three steals in just 19 minutes of play. Justine Baltazar tallied 12 points, six rebounds, a steal and a block, while Juan Gomez de Liaño also had 12 and three triples to go with four rebounds and three dimes in a dominant showing for the Filipinos.
Gilas improves to 2-0 in the group stages and is tied at the top alongside South Korea in Group A.
The young Philippine squad first shrugged off a slow start by turning a slim 21-19 advantage after the first quarter into an overwhelming 53-29 lead at halftime before cruising the rest of the way against the undermanned Thais.
Thailand actually managed to level at 26-all at the 7:05 mark in the second, but that would be the last time it would keep up with the Filipinos as Gilas unleashed a brutal 27-3 run behind Ramos, Baltazar and Juan Gomez de Liaño to end the first half.
Gilas kept its foot on the pedal in the second half, where the lead ballooned to as large as 36 — a point more than the total output the Thais had at that point, 71-35.