A Gilas Pilipinas offense that clicked from all cylinders opened the second window of the 2021 FI(BA) Asia Cup qualifiers with a bang by blasting Thailand, 93-61, Friday at the Khalifa Sport City in Manama, Bahrain.
Dwight Ramos was flawless for Gilas, scoring 20 points on 7-for-7 shooting to go with seven rebounds, three assists and three steals in just 19 minutes of play. Justine Baltazar tallied 12 points, six rebounds, a steal and a block, while Juan Gomez de Liaño also had 12 and three triples to go with four rebounds and three dimes in a dominant showing for the Filipinos.
Gilas improves to 2-0 in the group stages and is tied at the top alongside South Korea in Group A.
The young Philippine squad first shrugged off a slow start by turning a slim 21-19 advantage after the first quarter into an overwhelming 53-29 lead at halftime before cruising the rest of the way against the undermanned Thais.
Thailand actually managed to level at 26-all at the 7:05 mark in the second, but that would be the last time it would keep up with the Filipinos as Gilas unleashed a brutal 27-3 run behind Ramos, Baltazar and Juan Gomez de Liaño to end the first half.
Gilas kept its foot on the pedal in the second half, where the lead ballooned to as large as 36 — a point more than the total output the Thais had at that point, 71-35.
All in all, the Philippines shot 48 percent from the field, hit 10-of-31 threes (32.2 percent), and dished out 24 assists. Gilas also forced Thailand to commit more turnovers (22) than assists (13).
Thailand also shot just 29.7 percent against an unforgiving Gilas defense. Montien Wongsawangtham scored 17 points on 6-for-11 shooting to lead Thailand, which missed the services of Thai-American import and top gunner Tyler Lamb.
Gilas will play the Thais one more time on Monday, Nov. 30, at 9 p.m. (Manila time).
The 10-man Thailand unit, on the other hand, will play again on Saturday against Indonesia before the Monday rematch against the Philippines.
Kobe Paras and Gilas blast Thailand 93-61 Friday at the Khalifa Sport City in Manama, Bahrain.
Gilas Pilipinas 93– Ramos 20, Baltazar 12, Gomez de Liaño Ju. 12, Suerte 9, Gomez de Liaño Ja. 9, Nieto Mi. 8, Go 6, Nieto Ma. 4, Cariño 4, Navarro 4, Paras 3, Ildefonso 2.
Thailand 61– Wongsawangtham 17, Jaisanuk 12, Suttisin 10, Langsui 6, Chungyampin 5, Jakrawan 5, Muangboon 4, Klaewnarong 2, Ghogar 0, Lakhan 0.
Quarters: 21-19, 53-29, 75-43, 93-61.