76-69. The elimination match ended with that score in favor of the Philippines. It was a not so impressive debut of the Smart Gilas Philippine Basketball team in the 16th Asian Games. Kuwait was so supposed to be an easy prey for the national squad that was formed to make the Philippines qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games. The squad is even reinforced by PBA stars Kelly Williams, Asi Taulava, and Solomon Mercado. Coach Rajko Toroman felt happy that they qualified in the main draw but recognized that the team still needs to work on their chemistry in order to go deep in this tournament.
With the victory, the team is now in Group F of the main draw bunched with Iran, Qatar, Japan, Chinese Taipei and the winner between Afghanistan and India. The top 4 teams of the group will qualify to the quarterfinals. The coach remains confident that the team will make it to the quarterfinals.
caloycomment: It is good that they are in the main draw for a defeat would have caused a national outrage. In tournaments like this, a win is very important and the scoring margin does not really matter. I’d rather see this team eke out 1-point victories than blowouts because close matches develops a team way more than easy wins. I expect that the form of this team will get better as the tournament progresses.
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- Taulava, Williams, Mercado start training with Smart Gilas (sports.inquirer.net)
- Smart Gilas coach names Asian Games roster (sports.inquirer.net)
- Team Roster