JAVI Gomez de Liano held the torch for the red-hot Gilas Pilipinas side as the young side aced the Manama bubble with a 24-point drubbing of Thailand, 93-69, on Monday in the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers at the Khalifa Sport City.
The University of the Philippines forward was explosive from deep, going a perfect 4-of-4 shooting to pace the Philippines with 19 points and two rebounds as he helped the Philippines sweep the two-game series against the Thais.
His brother Juan Gomez de Liano also sustained his magnificent form, going 4-of-6 from threes to fire 14 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Gilas shot 16-of-33 from downtown, a fiery 48-percent clip, as a team.
Dwight Ramos collecting 13 points and five rebounds in a fitting follow-up to his showing in the first game while Calvin Oftana went 3-of-5 from deep to finish with nine points, four boards, and four assists in his Gilas debut.
The emphatic Philippines win, however, was dimmed after starting point guard Matt Nieto suffered a sprained left ankle on a drive in the third quarter.
That ruined an otherwise solid game by the former Ateneo star, who had already scored 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, to go with two assists in his 14 minutes on the floor before he was injured.
Nevertheless, Gilas hardly broke a sweat in the game after starting on a killer 11-0 assault.
Although the Thais, largely behind big man Chanatip Jakrawan, stayed close, the Filipinos' pinpoint accuracy from deep was enough to extend the lead to 28 points, 82-54, early in the fourth quarter.
Jakrawan was the lone bright spot for Thailand with his 34 points and 12 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as it goes winless in its three outings in Bahrain and remained in the bottom of the group at 0-4.
GILAS PILIPINAS 93 - Ja. Gomez de Liano 19, Ju. Gomez de Liano 14, Ramos 13, Ma. Nieto 12, Oftana 9, Go 9, Ildefonso 5, Suerte 4, Paras 4, Baltazar 2, Carino 2, Tungcab 0.
THAILAND 69 - Jakrawan 34, Suttisin 13, Muangboon 9, Jaisanuk 8, Chungyampin 5, Ghogar 0, Klaewnarong 0, Lakhan 0, Wongsawangtham 0, Langsui 0.
Quarters: 27-19, 53-34, 75-52, 93-69.