MANILA--Despite expecting a win against Thailand, some Gilas Pilipinas Men fans tempered their expectations on the team considering the long layoff due to the COVID-19 pandemic and composition of the players.
On Friday night, however, Gilas Men made a huge statement.
Despite bringing in essentially an all-amateur lineup, Gilas Men showed why they are the best basketball team in Southeast Asia, clobbering an all-pro Thai squad, 93-61, in the second window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers at the Khalifa Sports City in Manama, Bahrain.
In the game initially scheduled for the first window last February that was moved to Friday due to the pandemic, Gilas Men pulled away for good in the second quarter, where they outscored Thailand, 32-10, to open a 53-29 halftime lead.
Dwight Ramos put up a perfect game, going 7-for-7 from the field and 4-for-4 from the foul line for 20 points alongside seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals for Gilas Men, who are now 2-0 in Group A play.
Balti Baltazar, who made his Gilas Men debut, and Juan Gomez De Liano each added 12 markers.
Montien Wongsawatham fired 17 points, three rebounds, one assist, and one steal for Thailand, which fell to 0-2.
Both teams will face off again on Monday.
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