Gilas Pilipinas started strong and finished even stronger as it subdued India, 101-59, on Friday in Group D hostilities of the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Indonesia.
Bouncing back from their 80-95 loss to the Lebanon Cedars last Wednesday, the nationals banked on William Navarro, who banged in 18 points to lead the attack.
Thirdy Ravena and Bobby Ray Parks added 17 and 12 points, respectively, for Gilas which earned its first win in two matches.
A 7-0 run in the closing minute of the first period allowed the Philippines to move away from a 13-all deadlock.
Rhenz Abando’s triple, followed by Kevin Quiambao’s two charities and a floater from Ravena found their marks within a 38-second span before time expired as Gilas went on to grab at 20-13 spread before the second canto got under way.
Gilas is hoping that the 42-point win gives the Filipinos enough of a momentum going into their next showdown with the New Zealand Tall Blacks on Sunday.
The 6’3” Ravena, who plays for SanEn NeoPhoenix in the Japan B.League, scored twice in the last eight minutes as the Philippines went to gain a 12-point edge, 27-15, in the second quarter.
Gilas coach Chot Reyes said they were able to come up with a better performance than their game with Lebanon.
“That’s no. 1 and to play to our level and to a certain level. I must admit that we started the game quite rough. But these players were able to recover,” said Reyes.
Pressing on in the latter part of the second period, Team Philippines relied on the attacks of Parks, Carl Tamayo, Poy Erram and Navarro to widen their edge to 21, 51-30, with 18 ticks to go before halftime.
Muin Bek Hafeez hit 14 points for India, which absorbed its second straight setback.
Gilas needs another victory against the Tall Blacks in order to be in contention for a spot in the playoff stage.