True to their name, the Philippine men’s basketball team, Gilas Pilipinas, showed their gilas (gallantry or elegance in English) when they toppled the Indonesian team, 70-100. With this 30-point win, Gilas is one step closer to qualifying for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup, a quadrennial tournament where countries from Asia and Oceania compete in.
It was a close fight in the first few minutes of the game, with Indonesia only trailing behind by a couple of points—because what’s a basketball game without the heart-pounding game of catch? But Gilas’ teamwork seemed to have clicked in the latter part, and players started to erupt and score from all areas of the court. Thirdy Ravena, former Ateneo stalwart and brother of Gilas captain Kiefer, led the team with 23 points and eight rebounds in just 23 minutes of playtime.
This win over Indonesia puts the Philippines on top of the Group A leaderboard, tied with long-time nemesis South Korea, both having 1-0 records. Gilas and South Korea will face each other on the hardcourt on November 27 in South Korea’s home court. The canceled February 20 game against Thailand has been rescheduled to November 30, in front of the Thai home crowd.
The Gilas Squad
The Gilas Pilipinas team has a new and younger line up for the FIBA Asia Cup. Of the 12-man line-up, seven are from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and five are new additions to the team. Roger Pogoy, Kiefer Ravena, Troy Rosario, CJ Perez, Poy Erram, Justin Chua, and Abu Tratter are the seven PBA players in the roster.
The newest additions to the Gilas pool are Ateneo standouts Matt Nieto, Thirdy Ravena, and Isaac Go, UP Fighting Maroons star player Juan Gomez de Liaño, and rising star Dwight Ramos. Serving as reserves for the team are Javee Mocon from Rain or Shine, former UE player Rey Suerte, and Jaydee Tungcab of UP.
Watch the highlight of the Philippines vs. Indonesia game here.