Gilas depth key to victory over Thais, says Uichico

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Gilas depth key to victory over Thais, says Uichico
A young Gilas squad made easy work of Thailand in their first game of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers November window on Friday

MANILA, Philippines — Though lacking in experience in the international stage, a young Gilas Pilipinas squad did not find any problems in facing off with a veteran Thailand team in their first game in the second window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers on Friday.

Despite facing off with pros who were some of the best in Thailand basketball, the Gilas young guns led by Ateneo's Dwight Ramos and UP's Juan Gomez de Liano easily handed their opponents a blowout, 93-61 in the Bahrain bubble.

This, coach Jong Uichico says, is a product of the squad's depth with immense raw talent coming from each of the 12-man lineup.

"Coming into this game, we really weren't sure how we would play because of the seven, eight month layoff," said Uichico after the game.

"Fortunately the game turned around some time at the start of the second quarter... I think we had more depth than they had so that's why the outcome of the game was decided somewhere in the fourth quarter," he added.

The Thais only had a 10-man lineup in the Bahrain bubble, and were missing the services of star player Tyler Lamb.

But Gilas is expecting a tougher challenge from the regional rivals come their second game on Monday, November 30.

"Of course we're very happy with the W... We'll just take it one game at a time," said Mike Nieto.

"We'll enjoy this victory tonight but come tomorrow, we'll focus on the game against Thailand again and we'll focus more on improving ourselves," he added.

In a well-balanced effort from the youthful Gilas squad, all 12 players saw playing time and no cager finished the game without a point.

Ramos was the star of the night with a perfect outing of 20 points off of seven-of-seven shooting.

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