02 September 2014

Gilas Lost to Argetina, But Could Have Won It

Norwood Dunks Over Argentinians
In all of its three games, this last one could have been the match that they could have won. It was so close, but in the end it was not meant to be.

The Philippine national team was 11-seconds close to nailing their first ever win in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup with three-point shot or force a possible overtime extension with a two-point shot. They only trailed by two points, 81-83, at that point.

And everyone at the bench knows that the balls should either be in the hands of red-hot Jimmy Alapag or PBA's MVP two years ago, Jason Castro (or Williams as he is known in the international tournament). They don't want it any other way.

Castro received the pass. He tried to go for the win. But as fate would have it, he committed a blunder in the face of the Argentinian defense. In what could be the biggest error in his professional career, Castro losses the ball midway through his shot after being shadowed by Argentina defender Pablo Prigioni and was called for a traveling violation.

Andres Nocioni put the finishing touches after the Philippine team opted to foul with no time remaining. Their hopes were dashed when the NBA veteran scored calmly from the free throw line to set the final score, 85-81, in Seville, Spain.

The only saving grace for Gilas Pilipinas is that they still have two must-win games ahead of them in order to qualify for the next round. They need to win against fellow cellar-dweller Puerto Rico and defeat the streaking Senegal to improve their chances for a new lease on life.

It was also the first time in three games that Gilas dominated the statistics board as they shot better than the Argentinians, 52.9 percent against 45.2 percent from the 2-point area and 48.1 percent as against 39.5 percent from the rainbow territory. They also out-rebounded the taller South Americans, 39 versus 35.

The problem is that Gilas committed 16 errors as against only 8 for the Argentinians. Those costly turnovers, including the crucial one by Castro, were translated into 24 points by their opponents.

Ranidel De Ocampo led all scorers from Gilas with 18 points, but it was team captain Alapag who masterminded what could have been a big comeback. Alapag scored 15 points behind the blistering 5 triples out of 7 attempts.

Andrey Blatche gave another worthy performance, despite being tightly guarded and harassed all through the ball game, by scoring 14 points and grabbing 15 rebounds.

NBA veteran Luis Scola led the Argentinians with 19 points and grabbing 7 rebounds.

No comments:

Post a Comment