On Wednesday (June 16), the Philippines redeemed itself in the basketball world after defeating South Korea 81-78 in their FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers match in New Clark, Pampanga – made possible by a miracle, buzzer-beater three-pointer by SJ Belangel in the fourth quarter.
Fans of Gilas Pilipinas might see this win as a cause for celebration, however, the team’s Dwight Ramos thinks a bit differently.
According to Gilas’ Ramos, the win – while a great achievement – served an even bigger purpose for him, specifically for his type of play.
Ramos noted that he wasn’t really prepared for the kind of physicality manifested by the South Korean ballers.
“Definitely, it was a wake-up call for me. Just the physicality of their players. They really pressured up on me and I just don’t think I was ready for that,” he said.
Though initially shaken by their opponents, Ramos gradually adjusted to the pressure being put on him as one of the taller players of the team.
“But as the game went on, I kinda adjusted a little bit, tried to protect the ball a little bit more,” he explained.
The 22-year-old admitted that Gilas Pilipinas’ clash with South Korea laid bare the things they need to improve on as a team.
“It shows that we still need a lot of improvement with the way the game was going their way in the first half,” he shared.
After their match with South Korea, the team will be battling it out with Indonesia at the AUF Gym in Pampanga, Friday.
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Image credit: Gilas Pilipinas’ Official Facebook Page