MANILA, Philippines – As far as turnovers are concerned, Gilas Pilipinas played a near-perfect game.
But the Philippines’ rare one-turnover outing hardly mattered as it still absorbed a 92-75 loss to New Zealand to conclude the group stage of the FIBA Asia Cup in Indonesia on Sunday, July 17.
While the Filipinos limited their errors, they failed to match the Tall Blacks’ aggressiveness on the boards and got outrebounded 61-28.
In a bizarre turn of events, the Philippines recorded just a single board after the first quarter to the Kiwis’ 21 rebounds as New Zealand jumped to a 30-16 lead.
“We were unable to capitalize on our almost-perfect, no-turnover game,” said Kiefer Ravena, who led in the loss with team-highs of 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists.
“It is amazing that we had one turnover the whole game. Getting outrebounded by 33, getting outrebounded more than our actual rebounds is another mind-boggling fact that happened today.”
Through three matches, the Philippines ranks last out of the 16 participating teams in rebounding with an average of 30.7 boards per game.
India – a team that went winless in three games – hauled down more rebounds with an average of 33.7 boards.
That is a problem Gilas Pilipinas needs to address if it wants to stand a chance against Japan in their knockout match for a quarterfinals berth on Tuesday, July 19.
“We have to box out and be physical against the tougher teams going to the next rounds,” said Ravena. – Rappler.com