Team Pilipinas def. Qatar 92-81
Beau Belga, PHI (11 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks)
There were plenty of players who popped for Team Pilipinas late, but Standhamburger (this is an A+ nickname, shouts to KKS) was a steady force for the National Team all game long. Played the handoff game well, knew when to roll and when to pop off picks, and played some mean defense versus the bigger Qataris. Someone refer me to Beau’s plyo trainer. Should be really good.
Japeth Aguilar, PHI (16 points, 9 rebounds)
He struggled early on in defending the heftier Qataris, but when the game sped up, Japeth played better as well. This was Japeth’s best game in quite some time in a Pilipinas jersey, a promising sight for the upcoming windows.
Scottie Thompson, PHI (4 offensive rebounds, 6 total rebounds)
Hop aboard the Scottie at PG train! He only dished out two assists, but the beauty of Scottie playing PG doesn’t lie with his offense, but rather, with his defense and hustle. His instincts at getting loose balls are out of this world. He’s a peak grit and grind PG, the type Team Pilipinas needed to catch up versus Qatar.
Mohd Yousuf Mohmmed, QAT (26 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists)
One of my main takeaways from this game: Qatar is HUGE. Mohd Yousuf Mohmmed was such a force, with none of the Filipinos capable of handling his power down low. He continued to produce as the game rolled on, but the points weren’t exactly substantial to the cause of Qatar.
- Let’s get this out of the way already: Team Pilipinas shot HORRIBLY. 3/32 is NEVER a delightful sight to look at. It wasn’t like they were just chucking up bricks with zero purpose. Team Pilipinas was getting good looks, mostly off the movement they employed. The shots just weren’t going in.
- On that note, you have to credit Team Pilipinas for not living and dying by the three. During the first half, they started by taking more mid-range shots instead of threes, and it put a little dent on the zone being employed by Qatar. But where things really changed was during the second half. They sped up the game, pressured the Qataris, and turned the game into a faster-paced contest. Completely countered their disadvantage in size.
- A surprising stat considering Qatar’s size advantage: Team Pilipinas was a +14 in rebounding while holding a +7 advantage on offensive boards. Qatar was wider and bigger, but the constant activity, hustle and the quickened pace turned the tide in this game.
- It was a story of two halves, and the second half showed us peak Filipino basketball. More threes would have helped, but ideally, that’s how the game should be played by the country. Continuous ball moving, relying on your quickness, and pressuring the defense. In a statement: Puso with purpose.