No mercy: Gilas rips foe by 107 points
The Gilas Pilipinas crew that many said was an overkill for this Southeast Asian Basketball Association championship certainly showed that it is, and coach Chot Reyes, after talking guardedly about this team the past two weeks, is not about to make apologies for that.
“I just like the way we went out and did the little things,” the veteran internationalist said after the Filipinos literally manhandled Burma (Myanmar), 147-40, at Smart Araneta Coliseum Friday, to confirm the hype about the talent surrounding Gilas in this entry level regional event critical to World Cup qualifying.
“This is very rare,” Reyes said in his team’s role as the favorite. “I told the players that in the international scene, we are always the underdogs and I asked them if we could play with the same kind of intensity and effort even if we are favored.”
The Filipinos scored the first 17 points and never took its foot off the gas. Gilas led by 100 with 2:56 left after a double-pumping Roger Pogoy short stab, 140-40.
“The thing we are concerned about is our hustle number. We’re not worried about points, rebounds, assists. We were focused on hustle stats for this game,” Reyes said after getting all but three of his 12 players in twin digits.
For the record, Gilas had 45 assists, compared to Myanmar’s eight; 57 rebounds against 33 by the outclassed enemy; had 25 steals and 12 blocks in a mind-boggling result that showed the discrepancy in talent.
Terrence Romeo and Jason Castro, prolific scorers in the PBA, were two of those who didn’t contribute in double digits, finishing with just six apiece.
“I know there are a lot of things, a lot of talk around this game, this campaign,” Reyes said, referring to the overkill aspect of the team he assembled in the tournament the country is used to ruling with ease. “But we talked about the need to not worry about all the extraneous things and do what we need to do to get the job done.”
Next up for the Filipinos is Singapore at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Thailand scraped past Malaysia, 74-67, earlier.
Chitchai Ananti hit 24 points in leading the Thais, who won’t be facing another formidable enemy until Sunday when they clash with Indonesia, which prevailed over Singapore, 71-50, despite playing without naturalized player Jamarr Johnson in the first game.
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