Japeth wins Gilas free-throw shooting contest ahead of Japan game
Paul Lintag on Feb 24, 2018 07:11 PM
Following a terrible free-throw shooting performance against Australia in Melbourne, they shot 7 out of 19 from the stripe, the national team switched things up in their practice against Japan Saturday and instead opted for a free-throw shootout. Japeth Aguilar won.
Gilas Pilipinas usually does half-court shooting competitions after every practice.
However, following a terrible free-throw shooting performance against Australia in Melbourne which saw them shoot 7 out of 19 from the stripe, the national team switched things up in their practice against Japan Saturday and instead opted for a free-throw shootout.
It was a lighthearted take on their quest to regain their form from the line. Throughout their practice at the MOA Arena for the rematch against the Akatsuki 5, Gilas squeezed in shooting drills to improve its mark for Sunday.
All players in the senior team participated in the contest.
Jio Jalalon, active against Japan after missing the game against the Boomers, was the first to shoot. He missed.
Calvin Abueva, the worst shooter in Melbourne after missing seven of 10 attempts, also missed his first shot.
One by one, key members of Gilas were eliminated and in the end, it was shooter Matthew Wright and forward Japeth Aguilar that faced each other in the "Finals."
Despite overwhelming pressure by way of various "Ginebra" chants from his teammates, Aguilar won. He was showered with "Luto" chants afterwards. He won some cash though so it's all good.
"I hope it was a blip [on our shooting]," head coach Chot Reyes said on his team's free throw woes against Australia.
In the first window of the Asian Qualifers back in November, Gilas Pilipinas shot a respectable 70.4 percent from the stripe.
"That's why we're doing a lot of free throw shooting today. Hopefully we're able to get back to our regular clip tomorrow," he added.
The Philippines will host Japan Sunday at the MOA Arena. Gilas Pilipinas already beat the Akatsuki Five in Tokyo to start the Asian Qualifiers, taking a 77-71 win.
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