Reviewing the upset

Imad Qahwash rejoicing after Palestine's win against Gilas. FIBA
By Ivan Saldajeno

PALESTINE pulled off the biggest upset of the opening day of the FIBA Asia Championship by downing no less than a multiple-time Olympic team in Gilas Pilipinas, 75-73. What happened to Gilas in that game? Here are some of the key factors.

Defense may have won it for Palestine, because after a red-hot first quarter by Gilas, everything slowly went the Palestinian way the rest of the game.

Gilas went 11-of-23 in the first quarter but only made 15-of-54 in the remainder. Palestine, on the other hand, only made five of 21 attempts in the opening ten minutes but made 22 of 64 in the final half-hour.

To put a little bit of "nose-bleeding" in this post, I calculated for Palestine's defensive rating, which is equal to Gilas' offensive rating, and the result is a little over 90. What Gilas conceded in the game? A 92.5 offensive rating to Palestine.

Also, the fact that Gilas does not have a streak shooter not named Dondon Hontiveros took a toll in the match. Even Dondon's status as a legit shooter can be put under question now since he is already past his prime.

Gilas only made seven of 30 triples, while Palestine converted eight of 28. Hontiveros' clip was 1-of-6. The best three-point percentage for Gilas was that of J.C. Intal (2-of-4), who is more known for his slam dunks.

While both teams had an almost equal number of turnovers (Gilas had 15, while Palestine had 14), based on their respective turnover rates, Gilas "really" had 15 errors, while Palestine played like it only had 13.

Now, let's look at Andray Blatche's FIBA Asia Championship debut. He made 21 points in the game, but he was limited to only seven points in the second half.

Finally, my take on the final play. Jayson Castro appeared to be open for a floater only to pass the ball in the last second to Terrence Romeo, who decided to pass as well. It ended up in a Blatche triple getting blocked by Sani Sakanini, who earlier made the game-winning basket. Someone told me that Blatche's long tom was not the plan, putting the Castro decision into question.

To think about it, only four Palestinians out of seven fielded in scored the entire game, and the "over-reliance" could take a toll on them should the game went to overtime.

Up next for Gilas is Hong Kong, but if you think it's gonna be a smooth sailing, take note that in their 2013 meeting in Pasay, Hong Kong still led at halftime before Gilas pulled away. Again, no time to be complacent for Gilas especially after what happened against Palestine.

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