Team Gilas proved that they're really back in their element as they dominated the hapless Kuwaitis with their impressive run-and-gun offense and strong perimeter shooting. They we're also active on defense, limiting Kuwait to just 11 points for most of the first half. They were at the driver seat for the whole game, en route to a 46-point blowout.
Pambansang Bro, Terrence Romeo, played his best game of the tournament so far, leading the team in scoring with 19 points. Jayson Castro had a strong first half, finishing with 16 points while "The Beast," Calvin Abueva almost had a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds in only 14 minutes of play.
However, tensions flared up during the waning seconds of the game as Addulaziz Alhamidi of Kuwait lost his cool and confronted the lead referee after getting a fat lip courtesy of Ranidel De Ocampo. The replay showed that RDO did throw an elbow, explaining later to Spin.ph that it was only in retaliation for the sucker punch to the groin the Kuwaiti bruiser gave him in the previous play. Gantihan lang, brad.
Alhamidi got thrown out of the game but not before staring down a ref like a psycho and throwing a water bottle on the court.
This win gives Gilas a much-needed confidence booster as they head on to the second round of the qualifiers this Sunday (September 27), moving into Group E where they will face India, Japan, and Asian powerhouse and reigning FIBA Asia champs, Iran.
But before we completely shift our thoughts on the road ahead, why don't we savor our national team's dominating win against Kuwait. Below are some highlights that will definitely make you press the replay button over and over again—and make you scream #PUSO!
TERRENCE ROMEO ISN'T DONE VICTIMIZING ANKLES
Can we now start calling the former FEU standout "The Ankle Collector?" During the last minute of the third quarter, Romeo froze his defender with a nasty crossover that immediately drew oohhs and aahhs from the crowd.
THE BEAST DELIVERS A "BIG FILIPINO FINISH"
Looks like Kuwait got the memo about Abueva being an unstoppable force on the open floor. They offered no defense at all for a rampaging The Beast, leading to this mean one-handed slam:
JC INTAL SOARS HIGH FOR THE DUNK OF THE NIGHT
Gilas' Baby-Faced Assassin is known on international tournaments for his slick shooting touch and not for his mad hops. Today, he made sure that they will all be aware of that, too. Nice dunk, JC!
DON'T HIT OF YOU DON'T WANT TO GET HIT
Kids, here's Manong RDO giving you an important lesson in (physical) basketball. If you hit someone, better expect to get hit in return. One big painful return.
The tantrum Abdulaziz Alhamidi of Kuwait threw at the end of the Gilas game. He nutchecked Ranidel De Ocampo pic.twitter.com/abV0AFbSWH— Ryan Songalia (@ryansongalia) September 25, 2015
TEAM GILAS' SWIFT ATTACKS
If Iran and China are two basketball behemoths, towering over opponents with their sheer size and brute strength, then we can compare our proud squad to stealthy assassins specializing in fast kills. Gilas' swift attacks strategy certainly played a major role in Kuwait's 46-point drubbing.
The Middle East squad was befuddled by our feisty fastbreak game and found themselves bamboozled by our blind baseline passes. Watching our run-and-gun offense flow was like an awesome symphony.
However, we feel the need to point out one bad note: our lackluster free throw shooting. Gilas shot a woeful 61 percent from the charity stripe, making only 19 out of 31 attempts. Beinte-uno pa more, guys!