A smothering defense and big Aussie plays spelled doom for E-Gilas as the Australians dominated the second half of their first meet-up in the Fiba Esports Open.
Star point guard Shintarou helped keep the Philippine side close as late as the middle of the third quarter, with E-Gilas only trailing by 3. But a 7 point run from the E-Boomers, with big alley oops and long threes from key offensive players Waurk and Squoogs, put an early nail in the coffin for the PH team.
E-Gilas never recovered after that. Australia took the Esports Open’s first game, 70-53.
Shintarou, strong with 13 points in the first half, was forced to make desperate, last-second plays against a tough AU defense. A backcourt violation at 20 seconds left in the third quarter was emblematic of E-Gilas’ frustrations.
But E-Gilas found its footing in its second match of the day, facing off against old foes Indonesia. As in their previous showdown last June, they dominated the hapless Indonesians, 65-37.
Shintarou was merciless in that match, dishing out splash after splash from beyond the arc for a total of 28 points, with 8 out of 11 three points made. But another revelation was E-Gilas reserve Rak, who dominated the paint with alley oops. He ended the game with 17 points.
Reliable defensive stopper Custer, meanwhile, managed to get 2 massive blocks.
In a postgame interview, E-Gilas team captain Philippe “IzzoIV” Herrero IV said that “unfortunately, there were several issues” during the match against Australia, but that they remain confident against them.
When asked about the secret to E-Gilas’ success, he said: “It’s the boring stuff, it’s the constant training, watching film, watching others play, and that’s about it.”