FIBA World Cup 2019: Serbia hands Gilas Pilipinas another thrashing

Foshan, China – As expected, Serbia demolished Gilas Pilipinas, 126-67, in their first-round Group B matchup at the Foshan International Sports & Cultural Center.

The Philippines got a short taste of the lead at the 5:44 mark, 9-7 courtesy of a Paul Lee jumper.

However, Serbia started a 7-0 run anchored on Nikola Milutinov, Marko Simonovic, and Nikola Jokic to wrest the lead, 16-9. The Serbians never looked back from there, finishing the first quarter 28-13. Their biggest scoring run came in the third quarter, 75-35. They enjoyed leads by as much as 59 points.

CJ Perez led the losing cause of Gilas Pilipinas with 16 points and 3 assists against Serbia.  ( photo)
CJ Perez led the losing cause of Gilas Pilipinas with 16 points and 3 assists against Serbia. ( photo)

Serbia was never threatened from there with the Filipinos continuing to struggle with their outside shooting.

Compounding the woes of Gilas Pilipinas was the poor showing of naturalized player Andray Blatche who managed only 5 points, four rebounds and issued six assists.

The 33-year-old center was plagued with foul trouble, preventing him from getting his game going. The Philippines was called for a total of 25 fouls compared to the 16 of Serbia.

Serbia, on the other hand, could do no wrong. They shot 83.5-percent from the field (36 out of 43), and 54.5-percent from the three-point region (12 of 22). They also played better as a team with 37 dimes compared to only 14 for the Filipinos

The Philippines made 21 of their 42 field goal attempts for a 50-percent shooting clip but shot a woeful 15.4-percent from the three-point region (4 out of 26).

Nemanja Bjelica led Serbia with 20 points while Bogdan Bogdanovic followed with 17 points to go with five assists. The Sacramento Kings shooter showed off his shooting prowess, going 4 out 5 from the rainbow country for an 80-percent shooting clip.

CJ Perez led the losing cause of Gilas with 16 points along with 3 assists. Paul Lee chipped in 15 markers while June Mar Fajardo finished with 8 points and six rebounds.

Gilas Pilipinas faces Angola on September 4, Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Serbia faces Italy later on that same day at 7:30 p.m.