MANILA – Host nation Philippines was eliminated from the FIBA Qualifiers, losing to the Tall Blacks New Zealand, by a score of 89-80.
The Tall Blacks’ physical defense and lackluster defense from the Gilas Pilipinas were the two big keys into the loss. Offensively, the Philippines could not get anything going, and it looked like Andray Blatche was by himself. Blatche was on fire today, scoring 30 points on 53% shooting, with also four three’s.
Sadly, he had no help as the star players for Gilas, such as Terrence Romeo (5 points, 2/7) and Jason Castro William (13 points, 5/13) were virtually invisible. Romeo, was way to hesitant, and did not look like the player who lit up the French in the first game.
Give the Tall Blacks a ton of credit. Their physical and tough defense, was the cause of the Philippines inconsistent offense, and also taking advantage of the Philippines horrid defense. New Zealand shot an amazing 58% from inside the led, and was led by the Webster Brothers, Corey and Tai. Tai, who plays for the University of Nebraska, scored 25 points and his brother Corey, tallied 23 points.
Things will only get better for the Philippines, as rumours are swirling that Los Angeles Lakers Guard, Jordan Clarkson is pushing to play for Gilas.
New Zealand plays France July 8th at 9:00pm EST, and the loser of that game will play July 10th, against Canada.