MANILA – (2nd UPDATE) Thirdy Ravena submitted a superb performance to power the Philippines past Indonesia, 100-70, in their first game of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers on Sunday night at the BritAma Arena in Jakarta.
Ravena, the three-time UAAP Finals MVP from Ateneo, came off the bench to score 23 points on top of 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks in just over 23 minutes of playing time. He repeatedly displayed his athleticism and strength in overwhelming the Indonesian defense, making 7 of his 14 attempts from the field.
His strong performance helped the Philippines win its lone game of the first window of the qualifiers, after its home game against Thailand was postponed due to the coronavirus threat. Gilas Pilipinas now has a 1-0 record in Group A.
"Proud of this group," team captain Kiefer Ravena later tweeted. "A lot of doubts why this team was chosen but (we) proved them otherwise."
Yet the triumph did not come comfortably, even though Indonesia was playing without a naturalized player as the papers of Lester Prosper and Brandon Jawato were not signed in time for the qualifying window. The home team kept it close and trailed by just 9 points, 37-28, at the half.
Gilas' inability to defend without fouling allowed Indonesia to keep the game close. The visitors were in penalty with 5:45 to go in the third quarter, and a pair of free throws by Arki Wisnu along with a layup made it a 4-point game, 55-51, with still over two minutes to play in the frame.
The momentum shifted in the Philippines' favor when Ravena drew an unsportsmanlike foul off Wisnu with 2:01 left in the quarter, and coolly drained both charities. In the ensuing bonus possession, he drilled a three-pointer off a Matt Nieto assist, giving Gilas a more comfortable 62-51 spread.
It was all Gilas Pilipinas from there. They scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter, and eventually led by 32 points, 94-62, when Juan Gomez de Liano knocked down a jumper with 2:14 remaining in the contest.
The Philippines shot 43% from the field and had a 55-33 rebounding advantage, while tallying 23 assists and scoring 20 points off Indonesia's 21 turnovers in the game.
Roger Pogoy had 16 points and 6 rebounds, while CJ Perez tallied 11 points and 7 boards. Kiefer Ravena shook off a slow start to finish with 10 points, 4 steals, and 3 assists, while Gomez de Liano also reached double-digits with 10 points.
Indonesia managed to stay within striking distance early thanks to the hot shooting of Andakara Prastawa, who scored 11 points in the first quarter and finished with a game-high 28 points. In the second period, Gilas' incessant fouling allowed Indonesia to trim the deficit into single digits heading into the break.
But much like their game against South Korea last Thursday, Indonesia fizzled after a solid start. They scored just 17 points in the final period as the Philippines broke the game open completely.
Abraham Grahita was the only other player in double-digits for Indonesia with 17 points. The home team shot just 36.21%, and committed a total of 16 turnovers.
Asian powerhouse South Korea leads Group A with a 2-0 record, after wins over Indonesia (109-76) and Thailand (93-86). Indonesia is now 0-2, while Thailand is 0-1 after the first window of the Asia Cup qualifiers.
GILAS PILIPINAS 100 – T. Ravena 23, Pogoy 16, Perez 11, K. Ravena 10, Gomez de Liano 10, Rosario 7, Chua 6, Tratter 5, Erram 5, Ramos 5, Go. 0
INDONESIA 70 – Prastawa 28, Grahita 17, Hardian 6, Lakudu 5, Wisnu 4, Kosasih 4, Gemilang 4, Sitorus 2, Joni 0.
Quarter-scores: 18-15, 37-28, 67-53, 100-70.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).