Gilas Pilipinas 77 – Canada 90
Gilas Pilipinas showed their youth and inexperience in their opening day loss to the Canadian team.
The game started out with much promise as Gilas was able to keep up with the bigger, taller Canadians. After falling down by nine points early, they fought to get back in the game and were just within three-points for much of the first quarter. Jio Jalalon and Kiefer Ravena took turns running the show and they were able to get into the paint and create for the rest of the team.
Ravena was able to hit a jumper from the baseline to give Gilas a 24-22 advantage in the opening minutes of the second quarter. It was all downhill from there. In the next play, the Canadians tied the game with a fast break alley-oop play. They then unleashed a torrent of three-pointers that opened up a ten-point lead, 38-28.
Gilas has a rough first half which the more experienced Canadian team capitalized on. The shot the ball poorly at a 37% clip. Their long ball was even worse at 20%. Gilas also had 16 turnovers in the first half which gave Canada extra possessions to bury them with a double-digit lead.
After falling behind by 13 points in the third quarter, Gilas tried to battle back in the final period. Matthew Wright found his range in the fourth quarter, scoring eight straight points with two three-pointers to cut the lead down to just eight points, 60-68.
The Canadians were just playing with too much confidence. They pounded the ball inside with nice dump-off passes and brought the lead back up to 15. They closed the game out with their outside shooting which killed any hope of a Gilas comeback.
This was a learning experience for a young Gilas team that is composed mainly of Gilas Cadet rookies.
Coach Jong had the perfect words after the game: "This is exactly why we're here. These are the young guys. We're here to learn."
— Jutt Sulit (@juttsulit) July 15, 2017
Kiefer Ravena led the way in scoring with 12 points. Ray Parks added 11 points most of which came in the second half off of fast break buckets.
The next game of Gilas is on July 16, 7PM against Chinese-Taipei A.
Photo from Jutt Sulit