Insights: Gilas Pilipinas drops 22-point beatdown on Chinese Taipei

While Chinese Taipei made it rain, June Mar Fajardo and the rest of Gilas Pilipinas brought the pain.

The third window of Asian qualifying matches for the 2019 FIBA World Cup continued at the Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium, with Gilas Pilipinas notching a 93-71 victory over host Chinese Taipei.

Behind the heroics of four-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo, the Philippine men’s basketball team overcame an early deficit to score the blowout road win over the Taiwanese side.

It was a huge follow-up performance for Gilas Pilipinas, having already beaten Chinese Taipei, 90-83, in the first window of qualifiers last November 2017 at the Araneta Coliseum.

FOX Sports Philippines rolls out the notes and numbers from Friday’s World Cup qualifier between the Philippines and Chinese Taipei.

– Down by nine points at the 8:21 mark of the second period, the Philippine quintet turned the tables on the Taiwanese side with a 26-10 run to lead by halftime, 44-37. Gilas Pilipinas never looked back, dominating Chinese Taipei in the next two quarters. The Chot Reyes-mentored squad ultimately outscored the Taiwanese team, 25-11, in the fourth quarter.

– In one of his memorable performances yet donning the national team colors, June Mar Fajardo finished with game-high 22 points on a 9-of-12 (75%) field goal clip. “The Kraken” starred in an off-the-bench role with Reyes opting to start Japeth Aguilar at the four spot. There were instances the Philippines went exclusively to Fajardo at the low post in lieu of their famed dribble-drive offense.

– Also turning in one of his best showing in a Gilas uniform was Andray Blatche, who imposed his presence on both ends of the floor. The 6-foot-11 NBA veteran finished with a double-double showing of 13 points and 12 rebounds along with five assists, three steals and two blocked shots.

– The twin tower combination of Fajardo and Blatche worked wonders for Gilas Pilipinas right at the first half. Fajardo and Blatche outworked Chinese Taipei’s front court duo of Tseng Wen-Ting and Quincy Davis III at the low block.

– Behind their hot shooting from beyond the arc, the Taiwanese were able to seize an early nine-point advantage over the Philippines. Seven of the 12 Taiwanese players fielded in by Coach Chou Chun-San made at least one three-pointer. The home team hit 12 out of their 32 attempts (37.5%) from the three-point line while the visiting Gilas squad was a bit MORE efficient from the rainbow territory, converting 8 of 21 treys (38.1%).

– With their early struggles from the three-point area, Gilas Pilipinas went for higher-percentage shots to keep things close with Chinese Taipei. The Philippines capitalized on every Taiwanese turnover with transition baskets anchored by national team mainstay Jayson Castro. For their half court sets, Gilas Pilipinas elected for shot attempts near the basket to chip away the deficit. With this ploy, the Philippines dominated scoring in the shaded lane over the Taiwanese, 50-20, as well as in turnover points, 28-6.

– Leading the host nation was Davis, who scored 17 points and collared seven rebounds. Lu Chen-Ju contributed 13 markers, making 4-of-8 three pointers.

– Group B preliminaries resume on July 2 with Chinese Taipei (1-4) hosting Japan (1-4) at the same venue, while the Philippines (4-1) clashes anew with Australia (4-1) at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.

– After the double-round robin preliminaries, the top three teams amongst Australia, Philippines, Chinese Taipei and Japan will advance to the second round of World Cup qualifications. With both nations already assured of berths to the next round, the Australia-Philippines match will determine the top-seed for Group B. The winner of the Chinese Taipei-Japan will claim the last ticket to the succeeding phase of qualifiers set on September 2018, November 2018 and February 2019.

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