March 21, 2018, 10:44 pm
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Boomers stop Gilas streak

AUSTRALIA is simply too much to handle, as Gilas Pilipinas found out to its chagrin.

The taller and heftier hosts cruised to an 84-68 win over the Nationals yesterday to remain undefeated in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifying tournament in Melbourne.

Before a good-sized crowd at the Margaret Court Arena, Australia used all the advantages at its disposal in breaking away from what was otherwise a tight contest until late in the third quarter.

The Boomers went on to post as much as a 21-point lead before going on to deal the Filipinos their first loss in three Group B games.

Cameron Gliddon went 4-of-6 from beyond the arc to finish with 16 points with Mitch Creek adding 12 points and 11 rebounds.

June Mar Fajardo tallied 15 points while Matthew Wright added nine for Gilas, which saw Andray Blatche going 3-of-11 from the field for only eight points.

Gilas sorely missed the services of the injured Jayson castro and Jio Jalalon, but it was mainly its poor free throw shooting and rebounding that helped Australia’s cause.

Gilas made only seven of 19 charity tries to Australia’s 25-of-32 clip from the stripes. The Boomers’ size advantage was also best manifested by their 50-30 advantage in rebounding.

Still, it took Australia some doing before solving the speedier Gilas’ puzzle.

The Filipinos held a 30-25 lead midway the second period before the Boomers regained their bearings and dropped a 12-2 bomb–sparked by back-to-back baskets from Nick Kay–to take a 37-32 advantage heading into the break.

 Fajardo’s stab off a strong post-up move whittled the deficit to just 48-54 in the third quarter, but when he had to be subbed after picking up his fourth foul, things quickly went south for Gilas.

Blatche was came in, but he has hardly recovered from all the pounding and grinding he received, leaving Australia wide open to  speeding up its own pace and finish the third on a 9-1 run for a 63-49 spread.

Gilas next plays Japan on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena, hoping for a repeat win that would keep it at second-running spot in the group, which is safe enough to advance to the next stage.
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