Blatche: We played with more heart today
CHANGSHA – Gilas Pilipinas recovered quickly from the shock and trauma of its upset loss to Palestine Wednesday, dishing out a sterling effort all game long to clobber Hong Kong, 101-50, in Day Two of the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship at the Changsha Social Work College Gymnasium here Thursday.
The Nationals punished the Hong Kong Chinese on both ends, pounding out the decisive triumph to start their road to redemption in this Asian Olympic qualifying tourney.
“I don’t think we did enough (on Wednesday’s game). We don’t redeem ourselves until we wipe every bit of doubt on everybody’s mind on who we are as a national team,” said Gilas coach Tab Baldwin.
The Nationals put behind them their 73-75 loss to the Palestinians but kept in mind the lesson of the humbling defeat.
And they’re determined to march on against Kuwait at the close of the first round of the preliminaries Friday. The two teams clash at 4:45 p.m.
“I feel we did two things different than yesterday – we hit shots and we rebounded. And another thing, we played with much more heart. That’s why we were able to get the easy win,” said naturalized player Andray Blatche.
“Sa totoo lang, wala yung puso kahapon. Eh nasugatan tayo, kaya lumabas yung tunay na puso,” said Marc Pingris.
“We corrected our mistake from the last game. We’re aggressive on both ends right upon stepping on the court,” said Jayson Castro.
Each member of the team helped provide a push, showing their true strength in a complete domination of the Hong Kong side.
Castro nailed 5-of-6 three-pointers and led all scorers with 21 points while Blatche, Dondon Hontiveros, Terrence Romeo and Ranidel de Ocampo chipped in double-digit outputs.
The Gilas shooters found their touch early and torched the HK Chinese with 14 three-pointers.
“You can see that they struggled against the zone a little bit (Wednesday), and that’s what we tried to do very early on. But they hit shots, hit a lot of shots,” said HK quintet main man Duncan Reid.
“A lot of guys, who were a little hesitant (Wednesday), hit a lot of threes against us,” he added.
Baldwin said it’s all about effort that they didn’t have in the closing minutes of their game against the Palestinians.
“Lots of good things come from effort. Lots of bad things come from a lack of effort. There was a good effort today, and the result speaks for themselves,” said Baldwin.
With a great resolve from everybody, the Nationals mangled the Hong Kong team that looked good in its 87-50 clobbering of Kuwait Wednesday.
A shooting team, Hong Kong was limited to 5-of-28 three-point clip by Gilas.(SB)
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