An intact and impressive New Zealand Tall Blacks outplayed the undermanned Gilas Pilipinas, 106-60, in the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian men’s basketball qualifiers third window at EventFinda Stadium on Thursday in Auckland, New Zealand.
The Tall Blacks, with Dion Prewster and Finn Delaney shooting 15 and 14 points, respectively, completed a sweep of their four-game assignment in Group A, winning all of their games via double-digit margins.
Gilas, with Carl Tamayo scoring a game-high 16 points, will face India in their final match on Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The Philippines, which has a 1-2 win-loss slate, is already sure of reaching the next round, which begins on August 25.
The qualification of the Tall Blacks, the Philippines and India was made possible following the withdrawal of Korea a few months ago after many of its players tested positive for COVID-19.
Gilas struggled without Tamayo, who left in the final 7:50 with a hurt knee following a collision with Tom Vodanovich.
The Filipinos were already trailing, 15-23, early in the second quarter, when the Tall Blacks unleashed 22-5 spurt to take a 47-21 halftime spread. Gilas was never able to catch up.