Mendoza: Gilas bounces back big time

·2 min read

Nice to know that Gilas Pilipinas defeated India running away on Sunday in the Fiba World Cup qualifiers. It came just days after we absorbed an uncharacteristic 106-60 rout at the hands of New Zealand last week.

A no-bearing game, indeed, as in all of Gilas’ remaining matches—including that one in New Zealand—in the eliminations leading to the Worlds proper next year.

But, still, that win over India was something special, especially so that Gilas fashioned the 79-63 thumping before a hometown crowd aching to see a big win following that shellacking administered us by the NZ Tall Blacks.

“It was an important game for us,” said Nenad Vucinic, doing the coaching chores on behalf of head coach Chot Reyes. “We had a tough trip to New Zealand. The way we got there, it was very difficult to play that game because of the level of opposition.”

Good recognition. At least Vucinic was being honest. New Zealand has always been a tough nut to crack for us for the longest time. He was dismayed—but that’s understandable.

The morale-boosting victory over India gave Gilas a 2-2, win-loss record in this Fiba window and will next face Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. All games are no-bearing since, as host, Gilas is seeded to the 2023 Fiba World Cup.

But before completing its remaining three assignments, Gilas will see action in the Fiba Asia Cup set to start on July 12 in Jakarta.

On the global arena, Branden Grace won the LIV Golf leg in Oregon last week, becoming the second South African after Charl Swchartzel to do so. Like Swchartzel, Grace pocketed the whopping $4-million top purse in the eight-stop, money-rich series.

Saudi money fuels the brand-new loop played only 54 holes in each outing.

And in Wimbledon, a massive upset was authored last weekend by French Alize Cornet, ranked a lowly 37th, when she ousted Iga Swiatek, the Polish world No. 1, in the third round.

The 6-4, 6-2 shocker ended a 37-match unbeaten Wimbledon run for Swiatek, 21, who had won her previous six tournaments including the French Open.

“It wasn’t a good performance,” said Swiatek. “I was pretty confused about my tactics.”

Even the best cannot be at their best at all times.

Nature decrees days off—unannounced.

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