FIBA OQT: New Zealand ends Gilas Pilipinas’ Rio dream
The Philippines’ road to Rio came to a swift and stunning end at home.
Gilas Pilipinas unraveled and bowed out of contention for a coveted slot in the Summer Games, yielding to a composed and gritty New Zealand side, 89-80, in only the second day of the Fiba Olympic qualifying tournament late Wednesday night.
The defeaning noise that filled the air inside a jampacked Mall of Asia Arena turned to a complete silence as the Filipinos came up short once again.
Andray Blatche willed his way to 30 points on 10-of-19 shots but Gilas just couldn’t match the Kiwis firepower with the steady Webster brothers Tai and Corey leading the way.
The younger Webster finished with a double-double of 25 points and 11 rebounds while Corey added 23 and was the most efficient player on the floor at plus-15.
Isaac Fotu and Thomas Abercrombie also did their part with 17 and 13 points, respectively.
With the Philippines falling out of the race, France and New Zealand automatically advanced to the semifinals along with Canada, which swept its respective group stage.