Gilas Pilipinas repeats win over Thailand, claims Group A top spot

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas dominated Thailand anew, 93-69 to conclude FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers - Bahrain Bubble and secure Group A top spot on Monday, November 30, 2020 in Manama, Khalifa City, Bahrain.

Gomez De Liano brothers Javi and Juan helped Philippines secure its second win in “Bahrain Bubble”. Photo Credit: FIBA

Compared to Gilas cadets’ debut in the match on Friday, the Nationals finally got acclimated in “Bahrain bubble” and started strong in their 2nd face off with Thailand.

Blue Eagle Dwight Ramos who had an immaculate performance previously, sustained his momentum in this game and helped his team post an early double-digit lead.

Thailand had a short run in the latter phase of the opener but Philippines did well in protecting its advantage until the last second of the first. 27-19 still in favor of Gilas Pilipinas.

Coming off the bench, Juan Gomez De Liano lit it up from the outside to widen Philippines’ lead. Not only did De Liano drop bombs on Thailand in the 2nd quarter, the UP Maroon guard also distributed the ball well to get his teammates involved offensively.

NCAA Season 95 MVP and San Beda Red Lion Calvin Oftana made his debut in the 2nd period to jot down 3 treys and gave Gilas Pilipinas a 53-34 lead entering the 2nd half of the game.

Thailand’s defense and second-chance opportunities intensified in the 3rd period that resulted in another decent scoring run led by Chanatip Jakrawan.

Jakrawan was unstoppable in the 3rd quarter but Coach Jong Uichico relied on Isaac Go and Javi Gomez De Liano to remain on top, 75-52.

Gilas cadets might have lacked international experience, but it was the players’ determination and discipline that made them stand out versus the much taller and leaner Thais.

Coach Uichico fielded in his 2nd unit to wrap up the ballgame, 93-69.

Javi Gomez De Liano starred with 19 points including a perfect 4 for 4 three point shooting. Javi was backed up by his brother Juan who had 14 markers.

Philippines sits on top of its group with 3 and 0 record. Gilas will be playing Indonesia and South Korea in the next window in February 2021.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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