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Gilas Pilipinas World Cup Opener, A Letdown

FOSHAN, China — Gilas Pilipinas was dejected after losing its blowout game with mighty Italy in the 2019 FIBA World Cup at the Foshan International Sports and Cultural Arena on Saturday. 

Italians show no mercy

The Team Azzurri made it impossible for Gilas to perform well throughout the game, leaving the Philippine men’s national team a 46-point deficit and a final score of 62-108.

The hot-shooting Italians, headed by NBA players Danilo Gallinari and Marco Belinelli, showered the Filipinos with their three-point shots early in the game.

Gilas Pilipinas World Cup Opener, A Letdown 1

Luigi Datome, Daniel Hackett, and Amedeo Della Valle also largely contributed to Italy’s victory.

Gilas’ downfall

Gilas set off at the wrong foot and never recovered until the end of the game. The Filipino cagers missed its attempts from long range, and a series of turnovers made it impossible to get back.

“We knew we were coming into this game as underdogs. We would have wanted to play it in a better way, and even if we lose, we would have wanted to play better than we did. The problem was we had early turnovers, we fed their runs with our turnovers, and we couldn’t make our own shots which I think was key to beating a team like Italy, ” said Yeng Guaio, head coach of Gilas Pilipinas. 

Guiao said that Italy is a good team, who has the size and speed of players, which is important in international tournaments like FIBA.

“They move the ball really well. Anywhere the ball lands is a threat, ” he said.

Italy, ranks 13th in the world, took advantage of Gilas’ sloppy play and poor defense resulting in the latter’s costly defeat in Group D of the tournament.

Duterte cheers for Gilas

Before the game, President Rodrigo Duterte came to the nationals’ locker room and wished the team good luck. The president was previously criticized for his defeatist remark on Gilas versus Italy match.

Perez led Gilas with 15 points while Bolick added six points. Andray Blatche also scored 15. Unfortunately, Gilas had 23 turnovers.

Here are the scores:

Italy (108) – Datome 17, Dela Valle 17, Gallinari 16, Belinelli 9, Tessitori 9, Biligha 8, Brooks 8, Filloy 7, Hackett 7, Gentile 6, Abbas 2, Vitali 2.

Gilas (62) – Blatche 15, Perez 15, Fajardo 9, Bolick 6, Ravena 5, Aguilar 2, Almazan 2, Barroca 2, Pogoy 2, Rosario 2, Lee 2, Norwood 0.

Quarters: 37-8, 62-24, 85-39, 108-62.

Gilas will face Serbia next on Monday. The Serbians, led by NBA star center Nikola Jokic, defeated Angola, 105-59.

Source: ABS-CBN News

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