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Thirdy Ravena powers Gilas Pilipinas to 1st victory in FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers

CJ Perez is all alone for the jam. FIBA
By Xy-Zha Cabanlong

MANILA, Philippines - The combination of professional and collegiate players worked its wonders for Coach Mark Dickel as Gilas Pilipinas trounced Indonesia, 100-70, Sunday night in Jakarta at the start of their FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers campaign.

Thirdy Ravena sizzled with 23 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Ravena also converted 3-out-of-4 from beyond the arc, leading the pact of the visiting Filipino side which proved to be a force to be reckoned with against the Indonesians.

However, Gilas Pilipinas got off in a slow start in the competition, with them leading only by 3 points, 18-15, at the end of the first quarter.

By halftime, despite the attempts of the Indonesians to keep the ball game close, the Filipinos were able to maintain their momentum to close out at 37-28.

Off the halftime break, the Indonesians played great defense that it led to three consecutive team fouls committed by the Philippines in the onset of the 3rd quarter.

Come the 6:58 mark of the game, Gilas Pilipinas were caught guilty of their 4th foul, allowing the Indonesians to take advantage and trim the lead to as low as 7 points.

But Kiefer Ravena and RR Pogoy combined forces to sink a triple that, along with an alley-oop shot by Thirdy, gave the Philippines an 11-point advantage which prompted Indonesia's Coach Rajko Toroman to call for a timeout.

Just before the end of the quarter, Thirdy converted 5 straight points for the Philippines after an unsportsmanlike foul was called against Arki Wisnu.

The younger Ravena sank both of his free throws and scored a triple off an assist by Mat Nieto, giving the Philippines an 11-point advantage, 62-51, with 1:55 on the clock. The Philippines extended their lead to 14, 67-53, at the end of the 3rd quarter.

Pogoy opened the 4th with his back-to-back scoring, giving the Philippines an 18-point lead; 71-53.

As if the first unsportsmanlike foul wasn't a huge blow for the home team, Indonesia was called for the same foul, this time against Abraham Grahita with 5:34 left to play, sending Thirdy at the time.

Ravena, though, was unable to score a point off the foul shots only to commit a turnover after that sent the ball to the Indonesians instead of the Filipinos regaining possession of the leather.

CJ Perez and Kiefer then sank triples to give the Philippines a 28-point cushion, 88-60, with over 3 minutes left to play in the game.

Misfortunes continued to hound the Indonesian side, as Mei Joni was called for an unsportsmanlike foul with 2:40 in the clock, sending Abu Tratter at the line, which he easily converted 2 points from.

As the Philippines regained possession of the leather, Tratter again converted another 2 points in the score sheet from an assist made by Thirdy.

Justin Chua sealed the deal for the Philippines with a layup, tallying the final score of 100-70.

Box Scores:

Philippines 100 - T. Ravena 23, Pogoy 16, Perez 11, K. Ravena 10, Gomez de LiaƱo 10, Rosario 7, Chua 6, Erram 5, Ramos 5, Tratter 5, Nieto 2, Go 0

Indonesia 70 - Dhyaksa 28, Grahita 17, Wicaksono 6, Lakudu 5, Kosasih 4, Gemilang 4, Wisnu 4, Sitorus 2, Joni 0

Quarterscores: 18-15, 37-28, 67-53, 100-70

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