Bitter lesson from Palestine defeat teaches Gilas not to look past Kuwait, says Norwood
Gabe Norwood in a huddle with Gilas reserve Troy Rosario. Gerry Ramos

CHANGSHA, China – To borrow an old cliché, Gabe Norwood said Gilas Pilipinas is taking everything it one game at a time in the Fiba Asia Championship.

After securing its first win over Hong Kong on Thursday, Gilas is up against a Kuwait team which the 6-foot-5 Rain or Shine guard said they should not underestimate even if it lost its first game against Hong Kong by 37 points.

“The road right now stops with Kuwait,” said Norwood, who played 15 minutes and finished with three points and four rebounds in the Philippines’ 101-50 win over Hong Kong on Thursday.

“We got to take care of Kuwait before we could think about anything after it. We just have to take care of business.”

[See Pingris: 'Ngayon lang lumabas (ang puso), kung kailan nasugatan']

Gilas faces Kuwait on Friday at 4:45 p.m. for its final game in the first round of the preliminaries, whose outcome would have a big say on the team’s standings, schedule and groupings in the next round.

Earlier seen as a cinch for the top spot in Group B, Gilas suddenly found itself threading a slippery slope after getting upset by Palestine on opening day, 75-73.

Norwood said the team obviously fell victim to overconfidence, something which Gilas had to learn the hard way – and something which it should no longer be the case against the Kuwaitis.

 “We can’t (look past Kuwait). We looked past Palestine and we lost,” he said. “We can’t look past anybody.”

But for someone who’s been there and done that with Gilas, Norwood still likes the nationals’ chances.

“We know we put ourselves in a tough spot. But we’re resilient. We’ve been here before,” he said.

[See Castro looks for shots on prodding of Baldwin - and finds his touch]

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos