ASIAN GAMES: Gilas crushes Kazakhs sans Clarkson
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 16, 2018 02:30 PM
Philippines' Raymond Almazan drives to the basket during their game against Kazakhstan at the men's basketball match at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
The Philippine national team started out strong and ended the game even stronger as Gilas destroyed Kazakhstan in a rousing 96-59 opening day win in the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games Thursday at the GBK Basketball Hall.
Despite missing the services of NBA player Jordan Clarkson, who arrived in Indonesia after a long flight early morning before the Gilas’ debut and watched his teammates dominate, the Filipinos under head coach Yeng Guiao played with fluid offense and stiff defense to take the Kazaks out of their game early.
All 11 players on Guiao's lineup contributed on offense with Stanley Pringle leading the way with 18 points on 6-of-9 field goal shooting he spiked with four rebounds, two assists and a steal. Christian Standhardinger got 15 markers and five boards, James Yap got 12 points and six rebounds while Paul Lee had 10 points.
Gilas – composed of Rain or Shine core formed barely two weeks ago after Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas backtracked from its decision to pullout from the Asiad – limited Kazakhstan to only nine points in the opening period to build a seven-point lead after the first to minutes that ballooned to 25-11 at the half.
The Pinoys continued with their offensive display in the second half and entered the payoff period with a 61-43 gap.
Standhardinger gave the Philippines a huge 86-54 lead on a jumper with 3:44 left in the fourth period off an assist from Yap.
The Filipinos, looking to surpass the seventh place finish of the Chot Reyes-mentored PHI Team in the quadrennial continental sports meet in Incheon, are virtually in the quarterfinals and will formally enter the Last 8 with another Kazakhstan loss against China.
Gilas will take on powerhouse and gold medal favorite China on Tuesday.