By Aljo Dolores
China def. Philippines, 104-57
Mingling Chen (21 points, 61.5% FG)
This is not fake news: a teenager led all scorers in a sanctioned seniors’ division game. Nineteen-year-old Chen followed some variation of the Moreyball as she scored all of her points either at the paint or from deep. She broke the game wide open midway through the first quarter with eight points that she scored in just a span of 80 seconds. By the time the game ended, she already earned 21 points for herself with only 13 attempts. Talk about offensive efficiency.
Afril Bernardino (10 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block)
Death, taxes, and Afril Bernardino getting buckets. Even with a so-so performance from the field, Bernardino took her fair share of shots. Making her the only Pinay who scored double-digit points in this match. She even showed flashes of her all-around game as she contributed in each of the five statistical categories—again the only Pinay baller to do so.
Xu Han (10 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 3 blocks)
Here’s another teanager made sure she would not go unnoticed after the game. Han gave a dominant performance that saw her post a double-double in points and rebounds, just four assists shy of completing a trip-dub. Aside from that, the 6-9 center’s presence was felt in the paint with those game-high three blocks.
- Just like the previous game, height (or lack thereof) was an issue for the Pinays. While they scored more points in the paint against China (32), they still lacked the efficiency to score up close (33.9% 2P).
- Moreover, the Pinays grabbed only 14 offensive rebounds which resulted to just seven second-chance points. Tons of missed opportunities combined with one-and-done possessions spelled doom for Gilas. In fact, the 31-rebound gap showed how the Chinese frontcourt asserted its dominance in the game.
- Theoretically, speed CAN trump size in basketball. That should have been the game plan for Gilas in this game. But how could you beat taller players who can also outrun you up and down the floor? The Chinese were relentless in their attack, scoring 54 fastbreak points in the game as opposed to 19 for Gilas. Be it off a steal or a rebound, Team China was prepared to go nitro like it’s NFS against what looked like a slower Philippine squad.