Team Pilipinas notched its first win the FIBA Asia Basketball Championships in Tianjin, China with a 115-31 rout over lowly Sri Lanka. It was evident that Team Pilipinas did not play down to the competition. However, still they didn’t shoot well from beyond the arc (32%) but shot 65% from the 2-point region.

RP led 44-17 at the half and 86-26 after three quarters but there are still fancy and one-on-one plays on the break with unforced turnovers and missed opportunities because of selfish acts for highlights. But I can say they’re just feeling the court for the big battles ahead against Japan and Korea.

Jared Dilinger paved the way for the nationals with a 21 point performance and 11 rebounds. Arwind Santos was not far behind with 16 points and phenom Japeth Aguilar, Asi Taulava and Cyrus Baguio contributed with 15 points apiece. Team Pilipinas never looked back with a commanding 84-point final lead.

The Filipinos hurdled past their hapless opponents minus star James Yap, who still has yet to land in China after participating in burial services for his mother-in-law, the former President Cory Aquino.

The final score, though may have seemed like a massacre, was not reflective of the Filipinos performance specially in the initial quarters. The Pinoys struggled with several possessions and made costly turnovers in the game. Though commendable in their victory, RP Team blundered key gameplays with 14 total turnovers and made a dismal freethrow shooting with 17 out of 27 made. They also shot 31.6 percent beyond the arc making only 6 out of 19 possible attempts. Coach Yeng Guiao had to work doubly hard back to the drawing board since such statistics will be crucial against dangerous rivals Japan and Korea.

The RP cagers for their part made good work in the rebounding department, pulling down a total of 59 caroms, 22 offensive and 37 defensive rebounds. They also snatched 14 steals and dished out a total of 19 assists.

RP Team will face Japan next in the continuation of the FIBA Asia preliminaries.


How they scored:

Philippines 115 – Dillinger 21, Santos 16, Taulava 15, Aguilar 15, Baguio 15, Thoss 11, Norwood 8, Miller 5, Helterbrand 5, Raymundo 4, Pennisi 0.

Sri Lanka 31 – Rajapakshe 8, Fernando 8, Danawansa 7, Senanayake, 4, Perera 2, de Silva 2, Abesekara 0, Serasinghe 0, Sooroyaarachchi 0, Arachchige 0, Agalathunga 0, Kulathunga 0.

Quarters: 28-9, 44-17, 86-26, 115-31

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