Gilas Pilipinas overtakes Jordan 77-71 for second FIBA win
Gilas Pilipinas, the Philippine national basketball team currently competing in the ongoing 27th FIBA Asia Championship series, in Manila, ran away with a 77-71 victory over the highly rated Jordan team Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Gilas started slow in the first quarter as the Jordanian team made impression in the jam packed arena with their quick and accurate execution that left the Gilas team
scoreless for a while after taking the court with a one point ice-breaker.
The Jordanian team
seem unbeatable in the first quarter after they took over the lead following errors and bad shots by Gilas. Jordan's Mohammad Hadrab was unstoppable with his 10-point grab in the quarter with support from teammate Wesam Al-Sous.
The Filipinos struggled in the first quarter but managed to limit Jordan's lead to four points at 20-16 to end the first quarter.
Still, the Filipino dribblers appeared overwhelmed by the accuracy and quickness of the Jordanian team in the second quarter.
Some adjustments were made by Gilas Coach Chot Reyes but the Jordanians continue with their relentless assault to end the first half with a five point lead at 38-33.
But in the third quarter, everything changed for the Gilas team with Jayson Castro igniting a rally that stunned the Jordanians after a series of steals and conversions by the Gilas team led Castro, jeff Chan, and Japeth Aguilar.
Gabe Norwood made life miserable for Jordan's naturalized player Jimmy Baxter, who was limited to 14 points, a dismal performance from the 30-point output he made against Taipei the other day.
With Castro's sterling performance in the third quarter, the Gilas team turned the table on Jordan and ended the quarter with a 10-point lead at 57-47.
The Jordanians threatened to overtake Gilas in the last quarter and they were successful but Gilas point guard Jimmy Alapag converted a three-point shot in the closing minutes of the last quarter to seal the host team's victory against Jordan.
Gilas Coach Chot Reyes said the crowd worked wonders for the Gilas Team, referring to the Filipino-dominated crowd at the MOA Arena cheering for the national team during the game.
“The crowd really gave us a big lift. Gabe Norwood did a hell of a job against Jimmy Baxter tonight. (Mohammad) Hadrab really hurt us in the first half. He (Castro) struggled at the start so I pulled him out after making a couple of mistakes. He settled down when he came back in and we saw his real game. Aside from his ability to put the pressure defensively, he also puts the offensive pressure against the other team.” Reyes said.
Gilas will go for third straight win in the FIBA Asia games against Chinese Taipei Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena.