Gilas manhandles Meralco in final tuneup for World Cup qualifiers

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas ran like a well-oiled machine and obliterated Meralco, 100-82, in its only tuneup game ahead of the final window of the World Cup qualifiers at the Meralco gym on Friday, February 15.

The Nationals will be leaving for Doha on Saturday with their confidence at a high as they look to topple Qatar and Kazakhstan in must-win away matches next week.

Ending the maiden period with a measly 23-21 lead, the Filipinos found their groove in the middle quarters as they enjoyed a 26-point lead off 3 straight buckets from Troy Rosario, Gabe Norwood and Jayson Castro, 76-50. 

June Mar Fajardo then took over in the 4th quarter, scoring 5 straight points to give Gilas a 100-72 lead – its largest of the game.

The Nationals currently hold a 5-5 record for 4th place in Group F, behind Australia (9-1), Iran (7-3) and Japan (6-4). Only the top 3 are assured of World Cup berths. 

They have less than a week to prepare for the Qataris on February 21 before flying to Astana to tangle with the Kazakhs on February 24.


Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.