Gilas Pilipinas Men were dominated on the boards early by the Tall Blacks. And it led to their downfall.
The Philippines ended the group phase of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup with a 1-2 record after falling to New Zealand, 75-92, Sunday evening at Istora Senayan.
By placing third in Group D, Gilas will face Group C second placer Japan in the knockout playoffs on Tuesday. The winner of that game will take on Australia’s Boomers in the quarterfinals.
The Tall Blacks imposed their size early on Gilas, dominating the rebounding battle 21-1 in the opening frame that paved the way for a 30-16 start.
“Well, we lost the game in the first quarter, got out-rebounded by 33 rebounds. There’s no way for us to win a game getting out-rebounded that way,” said Gilas head coach Chot Reyes.
Kevin Quiambao and Kiefer took matters into their own hands in the second stanza, powering a 22-13 run to cut the lead down to 43-38 late in the second quarter.
However, Gilas shot blanks in the third canto, going just 4-of-14 from the field as New Zealand was able to restore order.
The Tall Blacks’ lead grew to as high as 20 points, 92-72, after a Sam Mennenga layup.
During the tail-end of the game, Chot Reyes decided to switch things up as Gilas used that time to prepare for Japan.
“I told the players after the game that we still have a chance against Japan to get to the top eight. We must forget about this ball game and just focus our energies and thoughts on the next game,” said Reyes.
New Zealand, who end their Group D run with a 2-1 record, will face Syria in the playoff also on Tuesday. The winner takes on South Korea.
Flynn Cameron led the way for the Tall Blacks with 18 points, four rebounds, and three assists.
Also scoring in double-figures were Taine Murray (16 points), Kruz Perrott-Hunt (12), Tohi Smith-Milner (11), and Isaac Davidson (10).
Mennenga also grabbed 14 rebounds for New Zealand while Sam Timmins grabbed nine. Also chipping in eight boards apiece were Smith-Milner and Murray.
All in all, the Tall Blacks out-rebounded Gilas, 61-28.
Kiefer Ravena led Gilas in scoring with 17 points to go along with six rebounds. Quiambao and Carl Tamayo both got 14 points apiece while Bobby Ray Parks Jr. added 10 markers.
Lebanon topped the group after routing winless India earlier in the day, 104-63. Lebanon will await the winner of the China-Indonesia game in the quarterfinals.
Philippines 75 –– Ravena K. 17, Quiambao 14, Tamayo 14, Parks 10, Ravena T. 7, Erram 6, Belangel 4, Abando 3, Navarro 0, Lopez 0, Chiu 0, Abarrientos 0.
New Zealand 92 –– Cameron 18, Murray 16, Perrott-Hunt 12, Smith-Milner 11, Davidson 10, Britt 8, Fahrensohn 7, Hunt 4, Timmins 4, Mennenga 2.
Quarterscores: 16-30, 38-46, 52-67, 75-92.
Highlights of the games will also be on SMART Sports.