The Australians (3-0) pulled away in the third quarter as they implemented their system (four players had 10 or more points) and asserting their size (50-30 rebounding advantage) against the locals. Cameron Gliddon led his squad in scoring with 16, while getting enough help from teammates Angus Brandt (13), Mitch Creek (12, 11 reb), and Kevin Lisch (12).
June Mar Fajardo was the lone bright spot for Gilas and player to hit double figures (15), as naturalized player Andray Blatche looked lost and listless out there and could only muster eight markers (3-11 shooting). Matthew Wright (9) and Roger Pogoy (8) got hot at the wrong time—Pogoy in the opening quarter, and Wright when the game was out of reach.
One thing that didn't change, though, was Pinoys expressing their rabid support online using the hashtag "Laban Pilipinas" and making the topic "Gilas Pilipinas" trend. Check out the most passionate reactions on social media:
Whose homecourt advantage was it again?
The match was set Down Under, but it felt like more Filipinos were present in Melbourne to watch Gilas live. Both the cheers and jeers echoed through the Margaret Court Arena, which was heard clearly during the TV broadcast. That was probably the only thing going for them all-game long.
If there was one player who best typified the PH team's performance against Australia, it had to be Calvin Abueva. While the Beast outhustled everyone on the court, he also hurt their chances with all those missed free throws (3-10). A number of shaky calls may have thrown the nationals off their game, but the Boomers were wise enough to exploit the match breaks.
On February 25 (Sunday), Gilas will face Japan at the Mall of Asia Arena to revive its FIBA World Cup hopes. Hopefully, coach Chot Reyes has already drawn up the right adjustments and injured mainstays Jayson Castro and Jio Jalalon will have felt better by then.
In the meantime, they can read some insights from the netizens-turned-hoops analysts of Twitter.