Gilas cruises past Talk ‘N Text in first MVP cup assignment
Gilas Pilipinas begun the final stretch of its training for the 2015 Fiba Asia Championship with a 93-77 rout of Talk ‘N Text in the Master Game Face MVP Cup Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Even coach Tab Baldwin admitted the so-called lack of intensity that comes with the game, as he said, “It felt like a scrimmage to me.”
After a bit of a woeful first half, Gilas Pilipinas woke up in the last two quarters and capitalized on the opportunity to polish its defensive sets before it braces for the challenge that lies with the games against the Wellington Saints and Chinese Taipei this weekend.
A strong third quarter windup enabled the national team to pull away from a close 45-40 halftime score to 69-52 lead it would preserve until the end.
“We were a little bit upset in the first half with our defensive intensity. It didn’t feel like international basketball to us, and I think we shaped it up in the third quarter and improved defensively,” said Baldwin. “Offensively, the flow was pretty good. We shot a great percentage for the game.”
Terrence Romeo starred in the victory with 22 points, 12 in the fourth, on 4-of-7 shooting from three to go with six assists and five boards, while Jayson Castro added 14 markers.
Andray Blatche also finished with 12 points despite being shaken with a mild hip injury while Ranidel de Ocampo also got 12.
Larry Fonacier paced Talk ‘N Text with 20 points as he went 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, while Mo Tautuaa made his Tropang Texter debut with 16 markers.
GILAS PILIPINAS 93 – Romeo 22, Castro 14, Blatche 12, De Ocampo 12, Abueva 8, Intal 7, Thoss 6, Taulava 6, Ganuelas-Rosser 4, Pingris 2, Norwood 0, Hontiveros 0.
TALK ‘N TEXT 77 – Fonacier 20, Tautuaa 16, Seigle 8, Sumalinog 5, Rosario 5, R. Reyes 3, Miranda 2, Carey 2, Labagala 2, J. Reyes 2, Espiritu 0, Aban 0.Quarters: 23-22, 45-40, 69-52, 93-77.