June 18, 2021 at 08:55 pm
Gilas Pilipinas used its height advantage to the hilt to maul Indonesia, 76-51, in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers on Friday at Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center in Angeles, Pampanga.
Fresh off a pulsating 81-78 win over Korea, their tormentor for eight years, the nationals began pulling away in the third quarter at 42-31 en route to the 25-point win, their fifth in as many games in the qualifiers.
So dominant were the Filipinos that they had an enormous 27 rebounding advantage following a total of 58 boards to the visitors' 31.
Power forward Justine Baltazar led Gilas with 11 points and 9 rebounds, Ange Kouame had 11 and 5, while shooting guard Dwight Ramos scored 10 and hauled 18 boards. Kai Sotto had 7 and 7.
Naturalized Indonesian Lester Prosper led all scorers with 22 points and 8 rebounds.
The Philippines clinched a seat in the FIBA Asia Cup tournament proper by virtue of its win over Korea, while Indonesia are likewise in the August cagefest as hosts.
Gilas Pilipinas meets Korea again on Sunday, with nothing but pride at stake.
Meanwhile, Japanese-American pro Gail Edwards top-scored with 21 points for Japan as it thrashed Chinese Taipei, 98-61 in the other game.
The 6’9" Edwards led a hot Japanese start with back-to-back layups and charity shot in the last 9:04, allowing Japan to move away on a 14-0 run.
With Japan on top, 25-16, at the end of the first period, it had little trouble establishing a 52-38 edge at halfime.
Makoto Hiejima added 15 points, while Kosuke Kanamaru fired 14 for the Japanese.
With their second victory, Japan improved its record in Group B at 2-1.