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Angola blasts Gilas

Photo courtesy of FIBA

An energetic, pressing Angolan team came out to disrupt Gilas Pilipinas’ game plan and succeeded in running away with an 80-70 triumph in the FIBA Asia Cup in front of a stunned crowd of 12,784 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.

Gerson Goncalves, the man who provided the spark for Angola with back-to-back treys in the second period, also keyed his team’s breakaway in the fourth period that allowed the 11-time African champion to gain firm control.

Angola broke into the win column in Group A after pushing Italy to the limit in the opener.

This time, the Angolans brought in a more aggressive approach on the defensive end and made things a lot difficult for the Filipinos.

Angola survived a last-ditch rally put up by the Filipinos, who unloaded 11 straight points and came to within 68-73 with 1:12 remaining.

But Gerson Domingo’s dagger three-point basket in the 47-second mark, quelled the rally, allowing Angola to escape with the win.

With the loss, Gilas found themselves in a must-win situation against Italy on Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Gilas had a promising start as they dictated the tempo early.

By the end of the first period, Gilas were already able to rotate 10 players and took a 19-12 lead.

In the second period, head coach Chot Reyes allowed young big men Kai Sotto and AJ Edu to play at the same time.

The two were teammates during the Batang Gilas days four years ago and are now embracing a more challenging role in the men’s level.

A Roger Pogoy basket gave Gilas their first sizable lead, 28-17, but an 11-0 run capped by back-to-back three-point baskets Goncalves allowed the Angolans to gain momentum.

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