MANILA, Sept 24 (Mabuhay) – After suffering a shocking defeat in the opening game of the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship, the Philippine national basketball team went on beast mode.
Gilas Pilipinas took out its frustration on an overmatched Hong Kong squad, 101-50, on Thursday in Changsha, China to ease some of the pain of its loss to Palestine.
The Philippines didn’t give the East Asian side a chance, leading from bell to bell. Gilas scored the first 12 points of the game and never looked back.
Hong Kong got closest in the second quarter, cutting the deficit to just 10 points, 28-18. That was the cue for Gilas to unleash a furious 23-4 run to close the half for a 51-22 lead.
Gilas took the fight out of Hong Kong completely in the second half, finishing the third period with an 83-38 lead.
The Philippines led by as much as 50 points, 88-38, after scoring the first five points of the fourth period. That allowed coach Tab Baldwin to empty out his bench for some exposure while giving his starters valuable rest.
Jayson Castro had 21 points while Andray Blatche and Dondon Hontiveros chipped in 17 and 14, respectively to lead Gilas.
In stark contrast to their loss to Palestine when they struggled from the field, the Filipinos shot the lights out from beyond the arc against Hong Kong, with Castro going 5-of-6 and Hontiveros making 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Gilas will close out its preliminary round schedule on Friday against Kuwait, which lost on opening day in a rout to Hong Kong. (MNS)