New Zealand dominates in Auckland vs. Gilas Pilipinas Men
Published on June 30, 2022

New Zealand came away with a 106-60 win over Gilas Pilipinas in the third window of the FIBA World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers in Auckland.

“Very tough night for this young team,” said Gilas head coach Nenad Vucinic. “We came across a Tall Blacks team that is playing with high intensity and very good execution.”

It was a defensive battle between both teams early in the second period. Gilas’ activity on defense prevented New Zealand from getting easy baskets. Gilas was able to keep within striking distance and was down by only eight points midway through the period. 

New Zealand, however, went on a 12-0 run by repeatedly attacking Gilas in the paint. That opened up a big lead for the home team, which grew to 26 points as both teams headed into the halftime break. 

The Philippines played better in the second half, but New Zealand managed to keep them at bay until the closing minutes.

Carl Tamayo was a bright spot for Gilas in the loss. He was aggressive all game long, even against the taller New Zealand big men. He finished the game with 16 points and five rebounds.

Rhenz Abando also played well in his national team debut. He scored 11 points, hitting 60 percent of his shots. Francis Lopez added eight points in eight minutes off the bench. 

“It is a good thing for the young players to understand what level we have to be to play a high level of basketball,” Vucinic said about his takeaways from the game.

Six players scored in double digits for New Zealand led by Dion Prewster, who had 15 points, and Finn Delany, who scored 14. 

Gilas stays in second place in Group A with a 1-2 record, while New Zealand sits at the top of the group with a 4-0 slate. The Philippine national team will host India on July 3 for their second game of the window. 

“Today was a tough game for us, not only for the players but for the Philippines. We just have to learn from this game and move on to Sunday’s game,” SJ Belangel said about the team’s mindset as they move forward to the game against India.