Gilas cruises past India

The Philippine Star
Gilas cruises past India
Dwight Ramos scores underneath in Gilas Pilipinas’ match against India in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers Group A action at the Mall of Asia Arena last night.
Russell Palma

MANILA, Philippines — In front of home supporters, a 10-man Gilas Pilipinas took care of business against India and closed out the first round of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers on a bright note.

Determined to redeem themselves after a 46-point blowout in New Zealand, the undermanned but resolute Filipinos clobbered the Indians in a wire-to-wire 79-63 triumph at the MOA Arena last night.

Dwight Ramos and Kiefer Ravena banged in 21 and 12 points, respectively, to lead the youth-laden crew to the bounceback win before an appreciative crowd clad mostly in blue.

Young big man Geo Chiu produced 11 rebounds on top of five points as fellow frontliner Carl Tamayo, battling through ankle injury he sustained in the 106-60 loss to the Tall Blacks, delivered nine markers and nine boards to give coach Nenad Vucinic his first win at the helm.

Originally down to 11 men, Gilas was forced to play with only 10 against India as Dave Ildefonso was sidelined by knee injury.

Overall, the Philippines ended Group A at second place with six points on an even 2-2 card and eventually joined unbeaten group topnotcher New Zealand (eight points on 4-0) and No. 3 India (four points on 0-4) into the second round of the qualifiers.

The Tall Blacks, Gilas and India were bunched with the top 3 of Group C in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Jordan for the Round 2 action set later this year. They carry their first-round records over into the next round, where they play the squads from the other group twice.

The home side started its breakaway late in the first period with Kevin Quiambao and Ramos spearheading a 9-1 salvo for a 21-10 tear.

Momentum on their side, the Filipinos outscored the visitors by 10 in the second period to extend the lead to 45-24 and went on cruise control from there.


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