Dwight Ramos and Kiefer Ravena came through with the big hits down the stretch as Gilas Pilipinas shook off the gritty Iran team, 63-48, to wrap up its campaign in the Heyuan WUS Basketball Invitational on Monday, Aug. 7.
Ramos, Ravena connive as Gilas frustrates Iran
At a glance
Dwight Ramos and Kiefer Ravena came through with the big hits down the stretch as Gilas Pilipinas shook off a gritty Iran team, 63-48, to wrap up its campaign in the Heyuan WUS Basketball Invitational on Monday, Aug. 7.
Ramos and Ravena conspired in the telling 12-0 run that allowed the Filipinos to pull away late and finish the tournament with a 3-1 win-loss record.
With Gilas' offense going sloppy and, at times, stagnant in the first three quarters, the Filipinos suddenly found the mark in the final frame with a Jamie Malonzo layup triggering the game-clinching rally.
Ravena buried a triple and Ray Parks nailed a long two before Ramos drilled a trey and another floater to turn a slim 49-47 lead into a huge 61-47 advantage with less than two minutes left in the game.
Ramos led the way for Gilas with a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds while Malonzo added 11 points and another 14 boards.
Ravena was impressive in running the offense for the Nationals especially during the pivotal run to finish with a stellar line of nine points, six rebounds and six assists. AJ Edu also chipped in eight points and 12 rebounds.
Gilas though wasn’t as sharp in its second game of a back-to-back schedule with the Filipinos struggling from the offensive end and committing lousy turnovers – something that the young Iran team took advantage of to take the lead.
Iran was even up by five late in the third frame if not for a late surge spearheaded by June Mar Fajardo. That late run then seemed to have pumped up Gilas especially on the defensive end, limiting Iran to a measly four points in the good stretch of the final frame.
With the win, Gilas is coming home with enough momentum for its final stretch of preparations after sweeping Iran and splitting its assignments against Senegal in the three-team pocket tourney.
The Nationals are expected to return to the country on Tuesday, Aug. 8, before immediately plunging back into training, this time, with naturalized player Jordan Clarkson already on board.
The Utah Jazz star was already bound for Manila on Monday and is also arriving Tuesday morning.