By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The lack of chemistry combined with an unfortunate poor shooting performance haunted the Gilas Pilipinas men’s basketball team that resulted in a disappointing loss against New Zealand, 88-63, during the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers held at the Araneta Coliseum.
It just wasn’t the Philippine national team’s night as they misfired from the perimeter from the get-go and never recovered to keep themselves within striking distance down the stretch.
The Filipinos shot a dismal 19 % from the three-point territory and converted only five of their 26 total attempts.
With their offense mainly relying on coach Chot Reyes’ dribble drive offense, the Philippines need to convert their kick-out treys for their offensive scheme to be effective.
Aside from their three-point shooting woes, Gilas also faltered in their free throws, only nailing 10 out of their 23 attempts from the charity stripe.
Meanwhile, the rejuvenated New Zealand team picked Gilas apart with their crisp performance while also out-rebounding them by 13, 44-31.
New Zealand hurt Gilas from the perimeter shooting an effective 58% from the field as they made 22 out of their 38 shots.
The young duo of Thirdy Ravena and Dwight Ramos once again led the way for Gilas and were the top two scorers of the game, 23 and 18 points, respectively.
Robert Bolick was the only member of the Philippine team who joined Ravena and Ramos as the double-digit scorers in the game with 10.