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Gilas Pilipinas sweeps Thailand to grab lead in FIBA qualifiers

Gilas Pilipinas issued another blowout win after thwarting Thailand, 93-69, to sweep the second window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers in Manama, Bahrain on Monday, November 30.

Brothers Javi and Juan Gomez de Liaño linked up for 33 points as the Philippines reasserted its mastery over Thailand to grab the solo lead in Group A with a 3-0 record.

Javi Gomez de Liaño turned out to be a model of efficiency after finishing with 19 points on a 7-of-8 shooting from the field, while Juan Gomez de Liaño scattered 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.

Thailand gained momentum after cutting its deficit to 14 points, 50-64, in the third quarter before the Gomez de Liaños combined for 7 points in an 11-2 run the Philippines erected for a 75-52 lead going into the last frame.

All of Gilas Pilipinas' wins have been lopsided so far after it crushed Indonesia by 30 points in the first window and annihilated Thailand by 32 points in their first encounter.

"The lead we had in the first game was big. We were concerned that we might take this game for granted," said Philippines head coach Jong Uichico. "We really harped on executing the offense and defense."

Dwight Ramos churned out 13 points and 5 rebounds, while Matt Nieto chalked up 12 points and 2 assists before leaving the court in the third quarter due to a sprained ankle.

Not making the cut in the first game against Thailand, Calvin Oftana impressed in his Gilas Pilipinas debut with 9 points – all coming in the second period – on top of 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal.

Isaac Go and Justine Baltazar formed a formidable frontline in the win and combined for 11 points, 21 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals.

Chanatip Jakrawan did most of the heavy lifting for Thailand with 34 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 steals, but his monster game proved not enough for his team to clinch its first win.

Thailand remained at last place in Group A with a 0-4 card, going winless in 3 games in the second window.

South Korea – which withdrew from the second window due to coronavirus concerns – has a 2-0 record, while Indonesia carries a 1-2 slate.

The Scores

Philippines 93 - Ja. Gomez de Liaño 19, Ju. Gomez de Liaño 14, Ramos, 13, Nieto 12, Go 9, Oftana 9, Ildefonso 5, Paras 4, Suerte 4, Cariño 2, Baltazar 2, Tungcab 0. 

Thailand 69 - Jakrawan 34, Suttisin 13, Muangboon 9, Jaisanuk 8, Chungyampin 5, Wongsawangtham 0, Ghogar 0, Lakhan 0, Klaewnarong 0, Langsui 0.

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

– Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.

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