Gilas loss to New Zealand fuels Dwight Ramos in bounce back game vs India
MANILA, Philippines — Learning from a tough beating from New Zealand, Dwight Ramos brought back the winning ways of Gilas Pilipinas with an impressive performance in front of a home crowd at Mall of Asia Arena.
Ramos showed the way for the Philippine men’s basketball team with game-high 21 points, five rebounds and four steals in a 79-63 win over India on Sunday, ending their campaign in the first round of the Fiba World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers on a high note.
“New Zealand really dominated us and so now I can’t forget it so that’s always in my mind moving forward, when I’m working out, when I’m practicing with them, I remember that New Zealand game, and how tough it was for us,” Ramos told reporters.
The 23-year-old guard was limited to six points in their 60-106 blowout loss to New Zealand last Thursday.
Ramos can’t wait to face New Zealand again in the Fiba Asia Cup, where they are slated with the Tall Blacks, Lebanon, and India in Group D, from July 12 to 24 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“I’m super excited. It’s going to be kind of exciting playing if we ever match up there also,” he said. “We have a short preparation time before we go over there but it’s going to be always in the back of our mind how they beat us and hopefully that drives us in practice and our personal workout tryna to get better, try to play on their level.”
Facing the world-caliber Tall Blacks, Ramos admitted that it will take time for the national team program to reach that kind of level. But he vows to keep working hard.
“Hopefully we can compete. It takes time, we have short practice time before we leave. It takes time, but as long as we keep improving, eventually, we’ll get there,” he said.
Ramos is just glad to be part of the young Gilas team bannered by younger teammates Rhenz Abando, RJ Abarrientos, and SJ Belangel, putting the team on the right track in improving its level of basketball.
“Even since last year, we started playing together, it’s really nice playing with them because they all have something to prove. That gives you different energy when you’re playing out there,” he said. “Everybody’s trying to improve and that’s what I really like when you see it in practice and everyone’s really working hard. That’s kind of what you want from the team.”
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