Gilas Pilipinas dominates Indonesia, keeps perfect record in FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers

    MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas continues its winning streak at the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers after edging Indonesia, 76-51 on Friday, June 18 in Clark, Pampanga.

    Congratulations, Gilas Pilipinas!
    Congratulations, Gilas Pilipinas! Photo from FIBA.basketball

    Fresh from a thrilling victory over Asian basketball powerhouse, South Korea, Gilas Pilipinas players were all in high morale entering their 2nd game of the third and final window against Southeast Asian rival Indonesia.

    READ: Gilas Pilipinas breaks ‘Korean curse’, advances to 2021 FIBA Asia Cup

    Despite booking a ticket to the FIBA Asia Cup on Wednesday, Philippines had no intention of slowing down as the young squad pummeled Indonesia early in the opener to secure an advantage.

    Naturalized Filipino Ange Kouame led the way for Gilas offensively and defended Indonesia’s Lester Prosper very well at the post to keep the former PBA import off-rhythm.

    Naturalized Filipino Ange Kouame
    Naturalized Filipino Ange Kouame dominated former PBA import Lester Prosper in their much-awaited match up. Photo from FIBA.basketball

    Team Pilipinas successfully established its advantage at the end of the first 10 minutes, 15-11.

    Gilas laxed in the second and left the door open for Indonesia. In just a blink of an eye, the Filipinos found themselves up just by a minuscule margin.

    Kai Sotto who made an impressive debut versus the Koreans was unproductive in the 2nd quarter and was thwarted by Prosper underneath the basket a few times.

    Coach Tab Baldwin relied on his ace players, Dwight Ramos and Kouame to finish the 1st half in a 30-22 gallant fashion.

    Coach Baldwin did an experiment in the 3rd period as he fielded in his twin towers Kouame and Sotto. The test gave the American-Kiwi mentor a positive result as Gilas owned the shaded area and regained its double-digit advantage.

    Defending two seven-footers was not an easy task for Prosper. The naturalized Indonesian got exhausted mid third, sat down for the remaining minutes of the quarter while watching Philippines get away with 51-36 lead.

    Coach Tab rested his starters at the beginning of the final quarter and sent his reserves in instead.

    Carl Tamayo and Geo Chiu have both been a revelation for Gilas as the duo helped Philippines post a twenty-point edge. Tamayo however, sprained his ankle in the 8th minute.

    Another Gilas rookie stood out in this game. Lebron Lopez made quite a living from hustling and slicing to the basket to maintain his team’s humongous advantage.

    Well-rested Prosper attempted to run and try a comeback but the nationals managed to slow down the rest of their rivals and closed the game with a convincing 76-51 win.

    Gilas Pilipinas leads Group A with 5-0 record and has one more game left on Sunday, June 20 at 2PM against South Korea.

    The Scores:

    PHILIPPINES 76 - Baltazar 11, Kouame 11, Ramos 10, Abarrientos 9, Lopez 8, Sotto 7, Tamayo 6, Gomez de Liano 4, Chiu 4, Belangel 3, Heading 3, Go 0.

    INDONESIA 51 - Prosper 22, Grahita 8, Dhyaksa 8, Goantara 6, Wisnu 4, Kokodiputra 3, Sitorus 0, Teja 0, Kosasih 0, Saputra 0, Noor 0.

    Quarter Scores: 15-11, 30-22, 51-36, 76-51

    SEE ALSO: Schedule, how to watch: Gilas Pilipinas at 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers

    — Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express


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