Gilas Pilipinas overpowered by New Zealand, set for Japan showdown
MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas’ gallant stand was not enough to hold off New Zealand, losing 92-75 and finishing third in Group D of the 2022 Fiba Asia Cup on Sunday at Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Philippines finished 1-2 in Group D and will face Group C’s No.2 seed Japan, which is bannered by NBA player Yuta Watanabe, in a knockout quarterfinal on Tuesday.
Flynn Cameron led New Zealand’s balanced attack with 18 points, four rebounds, and three assists. Taine Murray delivered 16 points including four three-pointers and grabbed eight boards. Kruz Perrott-Hunt had 12 markers, while Tohi Smith-Milner added 11 points and eight boards to set a knockout match against Syria.
Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Quiambao led the national team’s valiant effort to keep the Tall Blacks within striking distance, turning a 16-30 start into a five-point game, 36-41, off Quiambao’s three-point play with two minutes remaining in the second quarter.
New Zealand got its act together in the third period with Taine Murray’s triple mounting the biggest lead, 19 points, 65-46, at the 2:08 mark.
Ravena refused to surrender, sparking a 13-4, to cut down the deficit to 69-57 off his fadeaway jumper at the 7:36 mark of the payoff period.
Carl Tamayo also led Gilas last-ditch effort, scoring inside to trim it to 12, 84-72. But Murray and Taki Fahrensohn drilled back-to-back triples that put match away with a 90-72 margin with 2:08 remaining.
“We lost the game in the first quarter. We got outrebounded by 33 rebounds, so there’s no chance there’s no way for us to win a ball game and getting outrebounded that way,” said Gilas head coach Chot Reyes after they got beat badly on the boards, 61-28.
“But I told the players today at the dugout after the game, we still have a chance one more against Japan to get to the top eight. And now we have to forget this ballgame and just focus our energies and our thoughts towards our next game,” he added.
Ravena propelled the Philippines with 17 points, six rebounds, and three assists. Quiambao made the most of his extended minutes with 14 points, four rebounds, three dimes, and two steals, while Tamayo also scored 14 to go with four boards.
Bobby Ray Parks Jr. added 10 markers but he shot 3-of-8 from the field.
Gilas only committed one turnover in the whole match and scored 18 off New Zealand’s 13 turnovers. But the Tall Blacks proved too much inside, dominating the paint 40-28 and even hitting 11 three-pointers.
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