Philippines, 26 Feb 2020
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YOUNG GILAS PILIPINAS NATIONAL TEAM LOSES TO CHINA IN FIBA ASIA CHAMPIONSHIPS IN TEHERAN


PhilBoxing.com


A young, inexperienced and much smaller Gilas Pilipinas team under coach Josh Reyes has lost its third consecutive game against a towering China squad but won praise for their gallant effort before dropping a 75-65 decision to a huge Chinese team.

FIBA reported that China seemed to pull away when they ended the first half with a 10-0 run and led, 39-26, at the halftime break, but the Philippines ?still had a lot of fight left in them and kept the game close till the late stages.?

Coach Li Nan?s wards, though, made the bigger plays down the stretch and repulsed every Gilas rally to preserve their third straight triumph.

FIBA said the turning point in the game was when ?for a moment, Gilas looked ready to pull the rug from under China after cutting their 13-point halftime deficit to just 6 points entering the fourth period. The Chinese, however, started the final frame strong, going on a 10-2 run to raise the lead back to double-digits, 67-53, with just 5:39 to go. That seemingly took the wind out of the Filipinos? sails as China were on cruise control the rest of the way.?

China maximized their size advantage in this game, especially in terms of rebounding. Coach Li?s squad outworked the Filipinos on the boards, 47-35, thanks mainly to Zou Yuchen, who collared a baker?s dozen. 18-year-old center 6?8? Hu Jingiu also did well in this department, grabbing 7 rebounds.

Hu was the hero of the game as the almost 6?10? big man once again dominated inside. Hu tossed in 21 points on 8-of-13 field goal shooting to constantly frustrate the Filipinos, who have had trouble containing opposing big men since the tournament kicked off a few days ago. For sure, coach Li knew this, and sought to exploit it by going to Hu as much as he could.
The bottom is that Gilas Pilipinas is now on the verge of elimination and face a must-win situation tomorrow against Kazakhstan if they are to remain alive for a Quarter-Finals berth.

China, for their part, continue to roll, with the twin tower combo of Zou and Hu at the helm. They will, however, have to work extra hard tomorrow against India, who are certainly bigger than Gilas Pilipinas, to notch their fourth win.

6?3? forward Rey Mark Belo had another solid game scoring 16 points and grabbing 7 boards while issuing 2 assists as he battled the big men of China.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ronnie Nathanielsz.


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