Gilas Pilipinas bagged its first win at the 2015 FIBA Asian Championship after it defeated Hong Kong, 101-50.
Jayson Castro topped the score board with 21 points, 5 rebounds, and two assists along with five 3-pointers. Andray Blatche contributed 17 points and 8 assists.
The Philippine basketball team victory came a day after a heartbreaking loss to Palestine at the Changsha Social Work College Gymnasium in Changsha, China.
Gilas guard Gabe Norwood told Inquirer.net that they still feel the frustration from their setback with the Palestines despite the impressive game against Hong Kong.
“If the frustration is not there anymore, then we didn’t learn a thing. If it just goes away, it means that it (a 75-73 loss) doesn’t mean anything to us.”
Gilas’ Marc Pingris added in Filipino: “I admit, we didn’t have the heart to win the other day. Now we know that we have to come out with more than 100% of our effort each game. This is the national team we are playing for, and we made a mistake the other day and we learned from it.”
Meanwhile, Kuwait has lost its first two games by a combined 58 points ahead of its game against Gilas. Palestine, on the other hand, secured a 2-0 record in the first round of the tournament after beating Kuwait, 90-69.
Where does Gilas stands at this point?
A loss could place the team in a No. 3 seed or even an elimination if Kuwait wins its game later, Bleacher Report noted. At present, Gilas is almost certainly advancing to the knockout stage. Its more than 49 point differential is the best in Group B after Gilas rebounded from a two-point loss to Palestine.
View team standing here.
The winner of the 2015 FIBA Asian Championship will be the only representative of Asia in the Olympics in Rio next year.
Gilas Pilipinas has not been to the Olympics since 1972 in Munich and it has been nearly 30 years since it dominated the Asian championship.
Gilas is set to face Kuwait today (Sept 25) at 4:45 pm (PH time) to round up first round of the tournament, Bleacher Report noted.
Watch the Gilas Pilipinas vs Kuwait game live stream here.