Gilas suffers blowout loss to Italy in Fiba World Cup opener
Gilas Pilipinas neophyte CJ Perez emerged as the lone bright spot in the Philippines’ 62-108 loss to Italy in the opening day of Fiba World Cup in China.
Perez put up a joint team-high 15 points in his debut, but Italy’s hot shooting proved to much for the listless Gilas Pilipinas which only connected 4 of 13 shots in the first quarter.
Marco Bellineli and Danilo Gallinari led the Italians’ thrust on every single turnover Gilas Pilipinas made to the horror of a crowd led by President Duterte, who predicted a lopsided game and ended up witnessing one.
The game was all but over after the first quarter, when the Filipinos complimented their bad shooting with 8 turnovers while allowing an Italy starting unit on a scintillating 15 of 18 shooting clip.
An alley-oop dunk on a fastbeak by Awudu Abass put the exclamation point to the rout, 98-48, with 3:45 minutes remaining.
Andray Blatche was not his usual self as he led Gilas not in scoring but with 9 turnovers.
Gilas will need to put up a shocker against last World Cup silver medalist Serbia on Monday to give themselves a shot at making it to the Round of 16.