By the Numbers: The Bro's signature FIBA performance/revenge
Paul Lintag on Aug 10, 2017 02:17 PM
Terrence Romeo and Gilas Pilipinas got their sweet, sweet revenge against China in the 2017 FIBA-Asia Cup (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Considering that China and the Philippines are Asia's no. 1 and no. 3 teams respectively according to FIBA, Gilas Pilipinas' rousing win Wednesday over the Chinese to start the 2017 FIBA-Asia Cup shouldn't have been an upset.
However, considering that Gilas barely had two weeks of complete practice and China has been destroying quality opponents in its buildup for this title defense, then the Philippines' 96-87 win was an upset.
An upset AND revenge that was two years in the making in fact, let's not forget the last time these two teams met in the FIBA arena.
To breakdown Gilas Pilipinas' incredible win over China, By The Numbers* is making a comeback for the benefit of everyone.
*Terrence Romeo appreciation article masked as By The Numbers.
Okay let's go.
Terrence Romeo's total output against the mighty Chinese. Despite playing only 21 and a half minutes, the Bro burned China by shooting 64.3 percent from the field built around a fiery 5-of-7 mark from deep.
To make Romeo's opening haymaker even more incredible, the Bro's 26 points is his FIBA career high, matching that of Jayson Castro from two years ago vs. then-defending champion Iran.
Number of points scored by Romeo in the fourth quarter, including eight straight during the game's final four minutes.
With China taking its largest lead of the game at three points, 87-84, Romeo stepped in to bury a triple to tie things up with 3:55 left.
Romeo would then go all Kobe on the Chinese defense, sinking a difficult fadeaway near the free throw line as Gilas Pilipinas regained the lead for good.
Finally, with 2:12 to go, The Bro shot a dagger deep in the heart of China as the 25-year-old gunner buried a booming triple from Jimmy Alapag territory, giving the Philippines a 92-87 advantage that would later turn into a 96-87 win.
Number of years since the Philippines' last major win over China in international basketball.
Back in the 2014 FIBA-Asia Cup (which is different from the current FIBA-Asia Cup), the Philippines travelled to Wuhan and beat the Chinese in the bronze medal game.
Paul Lee had his signature moment for Gilas Pilipinas in that game, calmly knocking down three free throws with no time remaining as the Philippines escaped with an 80-79 victory over the hosts.
Number of blocks recorded by Gilas Pilipinas against China.
With an average height of just 6'3" (including June Mar Fajardo, who didn't play a minute due to injury), the Philippines was hardpressed to even survive China, who had an average height of 6'7" and had no players standing below 6'3", in the inside battle.
However, Gilas Pilipinas dominated the defensive end, practically cancelling China's overwhelming size advantage. When the defending champions managed to get it to the shaded area, Japeth Aguilar was waiting in the wings, accounting for five of Gilas' nine blocks.
Gabe Norwood, who aslo had the business to settle against the Chinese, blocked three shots. RR Pogoy had one.
Total shooting percentage by Gilas Pilipinas against China.
More than its incredible defense and Terrence Romeo's explosion, Gilas Pilipinas ultra-efficient offense was one of the big reasons for the big win against China.
Playing against the Asian Champions requires a near-perfect performance and Gilas delivered just that in starting its journey in Group B.
Gilas Pilipinas will resumre is 2017 FIBA-Asia Cup campaign on Friday against Iraq.
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