Pilipinas Basketball 2018:
Castro propels Gilas Pilipinas over Japan NT, 77-71
November 24, 2017 – Komazawa Olympic Park
➤ Asia’s two-time best point guard “The Blur” Castro-William, stabilized RP squad as the Japanese home-team mounted several uprisings. Jayson made Japan bleed making 5 out of the last 7 crucial points of Gilas in the final minute, especially the dagger trey at 1:14 remaining.
➤ Gilas Pilipinas led for most of the entire ballgame but Japan’s Akatsuki Five stayed uncomfortably close. Gilas built a large 14-point lead in the second quarter, 24-10, following Kiefer Ravena’s foul throw. The Japanese rallied back with a 12-0 blast in the third to pull ahead, 37-40, until the Filipino dribblers answered with their own 10-3 run to wrest back the lead, 53-46.
➤ Four Filipinos scored in double digits with Castro and Blatche leading with 20 and 13, while Matthew Wright had 12 and Gabe Norwood with 10.
➤ Japan ace Makoto Hiejima led the Nippon charge with huge 20 points and 5 rebounds, while naturalized Ira Brown contributed 10 buckets and 15 boards as well.
➤ Pilipinas Basketball will next face Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) this Monday, November 27 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.