- Gilas Pilipinas is out of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament
- They were defeated by New Zealand (89-90)
- Brothers Tai and Corey Webster led New Zealand to victory
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Basketball Team, popularly known as Gilas Pilipinas, ended their dream of making it to the Rio Olympics after suffering a nine-point loss against New Zealand (89-80) on the second day of the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament held at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday, July 6.
Led by naturalized center Andray Blatche, Gilas Pilipinas tried their best to block New Zealand’s offensive plays, especially its key players brothers Tai and Corey Webster , but the power of the Kiwis was just too much for the Philippines to handle.
According to an article published by Bleacher Report, 21-year-old Tai Webster scored 25 points while his older brother, Corey, scored 23 points.
According to an article published by Smart Gilas Basketball, the scores of Gilas Pilipinas players are as follows:
- Andray Blatche 30
- Jayson Castro 13
- Jeff Chan 11
- June Mar Fajardo 11
- Troy Rosario 7
- Terrence Romeo 5
- Ryan Reyes 2
- Ray Parks 1
The Gilas Pilipinas players believe their opponents’ familiarity with the coaching style of their Kiwi-American coach Tab Baldwin is the key why the Kiwis were able to defeat them.
Castro told Inter Aksyon: “Oo, kasi lahat ng plays namin alam nila.”
[Yes, because they know all of our plays.]
He added that the defense of New Zealand was really tough and they were really able to outplay them.
As for another Gilas Pilipinas veteran, Marc Pingris, he believes that the Kiwis were really able to study them beforehand.
“Siguro dahil sa sistema rin ni Coach. Pero talagang mas gutom sila eh kaysa sa amin. Nakita mo sila duma-dive sa bola,” he added.
[Maybe it’s because of coach’s system. But they’re really hungrier compared to us. You can see them dive just to get the ball.]
New Zealand is set to battle France on Thursday, July 7.
The FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament will run from July 5 to 10 and only the winners of each of the groupings will qualify for the Rio Olympic Games.