CHANGSHA, China – Gilas Pilipinas better be wary of India.
The South Asian country kicked off its second round preliminary campaign in the Fiba-Asia Championship here by dealing Palestine its first loss in the tournament, 73-70, on Sunday at the Changsha Social Work Colleges.
The Indians rode on the huge 32-point, 11-rebound output of Amjyot Singh to bring the Palestinians back to earth after their sweep of Group B, including a stunning 75-73 win over the Philippines in the first round.
India now has a 1-2 record and will meet Gilas Pilipinas on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. at the end of the second round of the preliminary.
But following the team’s initial loss to Palestine, coach Tab Baldwin said Gilas is now approaching every game with a lot more cautious.
“The only pathway to get to a good place is play the next game to win it. We don’t look past Japan to Iran. We don’t look past Iran. We won’t give up the Iran game to ensure the India game. We play every game to win it,” he said prior to Gilas’ Sunday encounter with Japan.
Palestine went away from its previous seven-man rotation and fielded in nine players led by Sani Sakakini with 23 points and Jamal Abu Shamala, who finished with 21.
Earlier, defending champion Iran made short work of Hong Kong, 111-56, to prime itself for its Monday showdown against Gilas Pilipinas.
Five players finished in double figures for the Iranians, with Mohad Jamshidijafarabadi showing the way with 22 points.
Big man and former NBA veteran Hamed Ehadadi scored only four points and eight rebounds in 18 minutes of play for Iran, which won its fourth straight blowout games.