Gilas suffers huge blow in FIBA World Cup opener vs. Italy

Italy is just too much for Gilas Men. FIBA
By Xy-Zha Cabanlong

MANILA - Gilas Pilipinas took the beating of the Italians in their first game at the 2019 FIBA World Championships in Foshan, China, Saturday night.

The Azzuris massively dominated game from whistle up to the final buzzer, tallying a 48-point blow against the Philippines; 108-62.

Gilas scored a poor 13 per cent from the three-point area, with their outside shots connecting only thrice in the game, all in the fourth period.

Andray Blatche scored 15 points for the Filipinos but it was his 9 turnovers that killed the momentum for Gilas all the more.

Majority of the turnovers that Blatche committed were converted by Italy to points that blossomed their advantage further.

Italy limited the Philippines to scoring only 8 points in the first period as against to their 37 points - perhaps one of the worst, if not the worst start for Gilas in history.

The only deadlock of the game, through the effort of Mark Barroca was at 2-2, before the Azzuri took full control, trouncing the men in white jerseys through outside shots and fastbreaks.

The Philippines attempted to catch up in the second quarter, with efforts coming from June Mar Fajardo and Troy Rosario in the onset but the Italians seemed to be too strong for Gilas to handle.

Despite the heavy beating that Gilas suffered from the Azzuri, CJ Perez showed the world why he deserved the spot in the final 12-man line up of the Philippines, as he scored back to back points to tally in a 24-62 score to close the half.

At the resumption of play, the Philippine 5 opened the scoring for the third quarter through Blatche's basket to make it a 26-62 trail.

Robert Bolick earned a start in the second half and introduced himself to the world by attempting to score and picking up his own miss and earning a trip to the free throw line from a foul by Daniel Hackett.

The other half of the "Super Rookies" that made the final 12 were able to score 2 points from the line.

Amedeo Tessitori closed out the third period in high fashion, scoring a buzzer-beating triple to tally in a 39-86 score.

It was only in the fourth period that the Philippines were able to score from the three-point area with 7:03 to play, through Blatche's assist to Kiefer Ravena.

Less than a minute to play, Fajardo found an open Perez and scored the second triple of the night, cutting the trail to 50; 55-105.

Blatche finally connected to the three-point area off Bolick's assist with 1:25 left in the game, after 4 failed attempts.

Amedeo Della Valle scored the last 4 points for the Azzurri, two points coming from the free throw area off a foul by Bolick and the other 2 points from a field goal. Perez, on the other hand scored back to back for the Philippines to close the game out at 62-108.

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