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Aug 31, 2014
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2014 FIBA World Cup: The Gilas Pilipinas Group Preview!

Gilas Pilipinas may have lost their battle against Croatia, 78-81, but we feel real inspired nonetheless. What was supposed to be a runaway game for Dario Saric and the gang turned out to be one of the most exciting overtime finishes in FIBA history, as our national squad posed a much bigger challenge than expected. 

If you still don't know it yet, 'yan ang nagagawa ng #PUSO! Press play on the video below to see the highlights of last night's FIBA World Cup Group B opener:


Video via FIBA

Having said that, there isn't much time to bask at the fruits of our national team's labor. Gilas is set to face Greece tomorrow, Monday (September 1), at 2 a.m. (Manila time), and changes must immediately be made in order for us to at least keep up with the fifth-best basketball team in the world.

Based on last night's game against Croatia, there are a couple of things we need to improve on and a couple of players who need to step up. What are the things we were able to do right? And while we're at it, what did we do wrong? Read on to see our post-game analysis, and make the jump to the last page for our Gilas-Greece primer!


THE GOOD

For one, we have to commend Gilas for being able to draw fouls the entire game. A couple of those fouls were even drawn from the arc, resulting to easy points. Croatia recorded 23 fouls, most of which took place in the first three quarters.

FIBA
Photo via FIBA


Gilas had a hard time connecting from long distance in the first quarter, but our deficit slimmed down the moment Jeff Chan (4/6 3FG) and Andray Blatche (3/4 3FG) started to convert their shots from deep. Keep it up, boys!

FIBA
Photo via FIBA
 


Gilas was also able to force turnovers when it mattered most, and it paved the way for our team’s late-game rally. Croatia finished the game with a whopping 21 turnovers, including the first possession that ended in a shot clock violation!

FIBA
Photo via FIBA


From post defense to rebounding, Blatche, Junmar Fajardo, and Marc Pingris challenged Croatia's bigs to no end. In fact, our rebounding numbers (38) weren’t far behind from Croatia’s (43).

FIBA
Photo via FIBA 


More importantly, Gilas once again put the whole basketball world on notice with their solid brand of #PUSO. It would have been the perfect Cinderella story had we won the game, but we’re glad that the team’s signature hustle and never-say-die attitude are still there. These crazy bastards continue to give us the goose bumps!

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FIBA
Photo via FIBA


NEXT: What Gilas did wrong 


Photos FIBA.com
Additional photo from TJ Manotoc's Instagram page 
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