Photo Courtesy of sports.inquirer.net

February 27, 2022 – New Zealand’s Tall Blacks gave the Philippines’ Gilas Pilipinas a hard beating in their FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers 2023 game held in Smart Araneta Coliseum, Manila, Philippines.

Thirdy Ravena (23 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals) and Dwight Ramos (18 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks, 3 steals, and 2 assists) both had stellar performances. But, even with the two stars carrying the team, Gilas Pilipinas still fell to the Tall Blacks in a huge loss, 88-63.

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Photo Courtesy of GMA Network

The Tall Blacks were led by Prewster (20 points), Vodanovich (20 points), Loe (15 points), and Samuel (12 points). They now have a 1-1 record in the Group A qualifiers bracket.

New Zealand’s basketball world ranking is in the top 27th, while the Philippines is in the top 33rd. They’re not ranked that far, but New Zealand took the huge win.

Gilas Pilipinas (Philippines) was keeping up with the Tall Blacks during the first and second quarters. They started out strong and was looking like an equal to the Tall Blacks.

The Kiwis have been firing from three consistently throughout the game. Loe, Samuel, and Vodanovich each had a contribution from the arc. Despite these guys being tall, they were a huge threat from the three-point line.

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Photo Courtesy of nz.basketball

This, as well as the lackluster defense and rebounding inside the paint, caused problems for the Gilas Pilipinas.

When the 3rd quarter began, Gilas Pilipinas looks a bit lost. They can’t defend the rim and always get outrebounded most of the time. Their ball movement is almost non-existent. The team’s gameplay was not able to get others to get involved. Add to that how Ange Kouame does not get enough touches of the ball.

Coach Chot Reyes (Gilas Pilipinas head coach) is known for the dribble-drive penetration type of play, which was not that effective in this game.

  • One of the problems they also had was the lack of size and muscle down below. Compared to the Tall Blacks, Gilas Pilipinas’ lineup looks relatively smaller and gets beaten in the post.
  • Overall, the New Zealand team was a better team. They’re a tough team, but the Gilas Pilipinas played with heart and passion, but sadly, it just wasn’t enough.
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