Cold-shooting Gilas suffers beating against New Zealand

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Cold-shooting Gilas suffers beating against New Zealand
Dwight Ramos and Gilas finish 1-1 for the window

MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas struggled to find their offensive rhythm as they fell to the New Zealand Tall Blacks, 88-63, in their matchup in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.

Sorry misses at the free throw line and foul trouble doomed Gilas as they finished with a 1-1 record for the window.

Gilas played at pace with the higher-ranked Kiwis in the first quarter as they only trailed by three, 19-22.

But early fouls sent the Tall Blacks to the free throw line often. Meanwhile, Gilas struggled to make their own freebies.

The unfortunate combo helped the Tall Blacks increase the lead to double digits, 40-30, at the half.

Things started to get even more sour in the third period where the Tall Blacks continued to take advantage of their trips at the charity stripe and stretched their lead to as big as 22 points.

Dwight Ramos shifted some of the momentum to Gilas’ side as he beat the buzzer with a triple, 48-65. But the deficit proved insurmountable as the Tall Blacks kept their foot on the gas pedal and even extended their advantage to 26 points.

Tom Vodanovich and Dion Prewster paced the Tall Blacks with 20 points each. Five different New Zealand players finished in twin-digit scoring.

For the Philippines, Thirdy Ravena and Ramos were the bright spots with 23 and 18 points, respectively.

Gilas’ next big tournament comes in May in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Meanwhile, the next window of qualifiers will be in late June.



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