Philippines vs Italy: Gilas Pilipinas FIBA World Cup first loss

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Philippines vs Italy Gilas Pilipinas FIBA World Cup first loss
Kiefer Ravena during Philippines vs Italy, Gilas Pilipinas FIBA World Cup first loss (Photo from ABS-CBN News)

Philippines vs Italy gave Gilas Pilipinas its first loss in FIBA World Cup game series on Saturday, September 1.

The Philippines national basketball team suffered a significant loss,  62-108, from the hands of team Italy, on Saturday, September 1, at Foshan, China.

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Gilas aimed to win at least two out three games in Group D but failed on their first try.

The team felt unlucky shooting from downtown as they missed their first 17 three-pointers. They only managed to successfully basket 3 out 23 three-point shot attempts.

Kiefer Ravena managed to lift the team’s spirit up with his first triple shot at 7:03, but scores are way too far to reach with the Italians leading 90-46.

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Another stumbling block that caused to Gilas Pilipinas’ defeat was their frequent turnovers.

Coach Yeng Guiao said, “Our problem was we had early turnovers – we fed their runs with our own turnovers – and we couldn’t make our outside shots, which to me was really key to beating a big team like Italy.”

Yesterday, Gilas’ centre Andray Blatche took responsibility for the team’s poor performance.

“I take 100% responsibility in that game. No energy or puso, that’s on me. No excuses, I owe better to all of you.” said Blatche on his Twitter account.

Meanwhile, Ravena chose to move on and focus on preparing for their next game.

“We just have to learn from our mistakes, I guess,” said Ravena.

Gilas Pilipinas now prepares for another intense game against Serbia today, at 7:30 pm.

Duterte visited Philippines vs Italy game

Despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s negative remarks and somewhat “premonition” that Gilas Pilipinas has no chance of winning against Italy, Duterte paid the team a visit the day before the game.

“Mabuhay ang Gilas, mabuhay ang Pilipinas,” said Duterte while entering the team’s dugout.

The whole team and coach Yeng warmly welcomed the president.

Duterte left total opposite words of his previous comments for the team.

“It’s never too late to dream. We’ll be praying for you. Basta ibigay n’yo, whatever it is, basta para sa inyo, nandito ako,” said Duterte.

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