Gilas finishes Bahrain bubble with sweep of Thailand

Dwight Ramos (Photo from FIBA)

As expected, Gilas Pilipinas cruised to another easy win as the Filipinos downed Thailand, 93-69, to complete a sweep of its games in Window 2 in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers Monday in a bubble in Manama, Bahrain.

Javi Gomez de Liano led a balanced attack with 19 points off the bench while his brother Juan Gomez de Liano contributed 14 points as the Philippines improved to 3-0 in Group A of the standings.

Dwight Ramos, who had a team high 20 points in the first win of Gilas against Thailand last Friday, finished with 13 points. Matt Nieto added 12 points also off the bench for the Philippines.

The national team’s bench outscored Thailand 53-0.

Also, the Filipinos controlled the rebounding department, 52-41, as Justin Baltazar collared 11 boards, while Isaac Go grabbed 10 rebounds – seven of which were on the offensive end.

The two wins, which also include the 93-61 victory last week, allowed the Philippines to take the top spot in Group A, ahead of 2-0 South Korea, which opted to skip the tournament due to COVID-19.

Indonesia is at third spot while Thailand fell to 0-4.

The next qualifying meet is set February 2021, and Samahang Basketbol Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio said the federation is willing to host the event similar to a bubble tournament in Bahrain.

Regardless if it pushes through or not is up to FIBA.

For now, Panlilio gives his thumb of approval for a job well done for Gilas composed of collegiate standouts which was given a month to prepare under coach Jong Uichico and project director Tab Baldwin.

“Even with the challenges the situation presented, you gave no excuses and gave us two performances that the entire country is proud of,” said Panlilio, who also heads the MVP Sports Foundation.

“Having young players come together at such a short time and still perform tremendously gives me so much excitement for what the future holds for Philippine basketball.”

“You played great team basketball, with sportsmanship, and with poise beyond your years as you showed the best that Philippine basketball has to offer. We’re so proud of you,” he added.

The Scores:

PHILIPPINES 93  De Liano J.J. 19, De Liano J.G. 14, Ramos 13, Nieto 12, Oftana 9, Go 9, Ildefonso 5, Paras 4, Suerte 4, Baltazar 2, Carino 2, Tungcab 0.

Thailand 69 -

THAILAND 61 Jakrawan 34, Suttisin 13, Muangboon 9, Jaisanuk 8, Chungyampin 5, Wongsawangtham 0, Langsui 0, Klaewnarong 0, Lakhan 0, Ghogar 0.

Quarters: 27-19; 53-34; 75-52; 93-69.