Sunday, September 27, 2015
Gilas Pilipinas escapes Japan 73-66 in FIBA Asia 2015 2nd round (VIDEO)
The Gilas Pilipinas, Philippine national men’s basketball team hurdled an intense battle with a gritty Japan side to notch a 73-66 victory to start its second round campaign in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship Sunday at CSWC Dayun in Changsha, China.
Naturalized player Andray Blatche scored 18 points and 10 boards for Gilas Pilipinas despite hurting his ankle in the game.
Gilas Pilipinas got off to a 6-0 start as Blatche got aggressive on the offensive end early, sinking pullup jumpers.
But as he sat out, Gilas Pilipinas’ offense became stagnant. Japan then launched a 7-0 run to end the first period with an 18-14 lead.
The Filipinos suffered a huge blow when Blatche hurt his ankle after being hit by a Japanese player. He headed to the bench right after the play.
Japan then continued to push its lead against the Filipinos in the second quarter, even grabbing a 29-19 lead courtesy of the hot shooting of Ryumo Ono who scored nine points off the bench.
But Gilas Pilipinas made a 10-0 fightback capped by a Jayson Castro layup to tie the game at 29-all.
PHILIPPINES vs JAPAN GAME HIGHLIGHTS VIDEO
Blatche re-aggravated his ankle injury early in the third quarter and had to sit out the entire period.
Despite not having him, Gilas Pilipinas found a way as the squad unleashed a quick, small-ball lineup. That allowed them to go on a tear, with Terrence Romeo sparking the squad as they grabbed a 54-46 lead entering the final frame.
Blatche entered the fourth period but was visibly in pain. Gilas Pilipinas then suffered free throw shooting woes that let Japan stay close in the game.
Japan started the fourth quarter with an 11-4 spurt that helped the East Asian side eventually tie the game at 64-all.
But Ranidel De Ocampo buried a triple with 2:15 left to give the lead back to the Filipinos, 67-64.
Calvin Abueva then outhustled his taller opponents with a crucial offensive board moments later as he also sank two free throws to give Gilas Pilipinas a 69-64 edge.
Japan made a jumper on the other end but Blatche answered with a putback goaltended by the opposition for a 71-66 lead with 52.8 seconds left in a basket that sealed the win for the Filipinos.
Philippines 73 - Blatche 18, de Ocampo 13, William 12, Romeo 12, Abueva 10, Norwood 3, Thoss 3, Hontiveros 2, Taulava 0, Ganuelas 0, Pingris 0.
Japan 66 - Hiejima 17, Takeuchi 13, Ono 9, Furukawa 7, Hashimoto 6, Tanaka 6, Tabuse 4, Ota 2, Arao 2, Hirose 0, Matsui 0.
Quarters: 14-18, 35-33, 54-46, 73-66