Dwight Ramos flaunted his all-around game as Gilas Pilipinas demolished Thailand, 93-61, in the first of their two meetings in the second window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers on Friday, November 27.
Ramos lit up the Khalifa Sports City in Manama, Bahrain with 20 points on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting to go with 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals as the Philippines dominated after a close opening quarter.
There were worries about how a young Gilas Pilipinas crew without a PBA player will perform in the qualifiers against an all-pro Thailand squad.
But those concerns proved unfounded, with the Philippines riding on a vicious second-quarter showing to break the game wide open.
Gilas Pilipinas held a slim 21-19 lead after the maiden period before it pulled away in the following quarter, dominating Thailand, 32-10, behind Ramos, Justine Baltazar, and Juan Gomez de Liaño for a 53-29 cushion.
The trio combined for 32 points at halftime and outscored the entire Thailand team, with Ramos unloading 13 points in the first half.
Others chipped in as Gilas Pilipinas’ lead grew to as many as 36 points.
“Coming into this game, we really were not sure how we’re going to play because of the seven, eight-month layoff and we were just feeling ourselves at the start of the game,” said Philippines head coach Jong Uichico.
“Fortunately the game turned around. I think we had more depth than they had,” Uichico added.
Baltazar put up 12 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block in his debut for the national team, while Juan Gomez de Liaño pumped in 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Javi Gomez de Liaño and Rey Suerte had 9 points each, Mike Nieto delivered 8 points, and Isaac Go added 6 points and 4 rebounds in the win that raised Gilas Pilipinas’ record to 2-0 in Group A.
Montien Wongsawangtham finished with 17 points for Thailand, which remained winless at 0-2.
Philippines 93 – Ramos 20, Baltazar 12, Ju. Gomez de Liano 12, Suerte 9, Ja. Gomez de Liano 9, Mi. Nieto 8, Go 6, Ma. Nieto 4, Navarro 4, Carino 4, Paras 3, Ildefonso 2.
Thailand 61 – Wongsawangtham 17, Jaisanuk 12, Suttisin 10, Langsui 6, Jakrawan 5, Chungyampin 5, Muangboon 4, Klaewnarong 2, Ghogar 0, Lakhan 0.
Quarters: 21-19, 53-29, 75-43, 93-61.