Behind NBA mainstays Danilo Gallinari and Marco Belinelli and Italian-American star Daniel Hackett, the European side made quick work of Gilas Pilipinas for a 37-8 lead to end the first quarter.
Italy continued the onslaught in the second period, taking a 62-24 halftime lead despite some energetic play from Gilas rookie CJ Perez. The Azzurri went 11 of 17 from beyond the three-point line in the first half, while the Philippines missed all 12 of its attempts from behind the arc.
Gilas didn’t hit a three-pointer until the seven minute mark of the fourth quarter, when returning guard Kiefer Ravena scored from straight away.
Italy did not take its foot off the gas pedal, pushing the lead to 53 points, 105-52, late in the game.
Perez and fellow rookie Robert Bolick were bright spots for the Philippine squad, continuing to play hard despite the score.
Perez finished with 15 points, sharing top scoring honors for Gilas with naturalized center Andray Blatche, who added 10 rebounds but struggled with nine turnovers.
June Mar Fajardo added nine points for the Philippines, which shot just 3-of-23 from beyond the arc. Italy, meanwhile, sizzled for 15-of-31 (48 percent) from three-point range.
The task does not get easier for Gilas, which takes on tournament favorite Serbia on Monday before wrapping up its campaign against Angola. —JST, GMA News
Published August 31, 2019 9:07pm