While we wait for the official tip-off, let’s take a closer look at what we might be able to expect from Gilas vs. the Dominican Republic based on their previous meeting.
Before anything else, let’s take a quick look at the most recent match-up between Gilas and the Dominican Republic squad, who we last faced at the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments last 2020.
Final Score: 67-94 (Dominican Republic def. Gilas Pilipinas)
With a score like this, it would be easy to assume that we were losing the whole time, right? Actually, we were leading this game 41-39 at the half. So what happened?
Gilas vs. Dominican Republic: Quick Game Recap
In the first half of the game, Gilas actually looked to be in command, as we were able to execute our offense, knock down our outside shots, and get stops on the defensive end. It became a back-and-forth affair during the first five minutes of the second half.
The problems started after the 4:30 mark of the third quarter.
Just as the Dominican Republic was finding their rhythm, Gilas was seemingly struggling to execute. Proof of this was the fact that we went scoreless for the remainder of the third period and the scoreboard reflected a 51-65 tally in favor of the opposing team who was already threatening to break away.
In the fourth, Gilas not only shot blanks but also turned the ball over numerous times which led to even more fast break points for DR. This dispelled any hopes of a comeback and practically ended the game after just a few possessions in. The beatdown came to an end as the buzzer sounded with a final score of 67-94.
Quick Notes on the Dominican Republic Team:
(+) Good at penetration
(-) Not very good shooters
(+) Applies heavy pressure on the ball
(+) Very physical
(+) Forces turnovers
(-) Over-aggressiveness gets them in foul trouble and gets them in the penalty early
So what can we expect?
With only a total of three games in our group, it is crucial that we start off our campaign with a win if advancing to the next round is on our minds.
It just so happens that our first game will be against the Dominicans, so expect them to match our intensity and urgency. Brace yourselves for a hard-fought battle as early as the opening game.
Now, the Dominicans have yet to officially announce their pool or final roster just yet, but we should be getting word of that real soon. Regardless, we can expect their roster to be made up of the same type of players that fit their team’s system — long, athletic, active guys that slash to the basket and play aggressive defense.
Also, should he be on the roster, the 29-year-old Gelvis Solano should be the marked man. His high-flying dunks plus quick and effective penetrations were really what caused the dam to break loose during that second half which saw the Dominicans outscore our boys 55-26.
One of the beauties of the FIBA World Cup Tournament format is that it practically gives teams around four months to prepare after the official draw. That being said, you can be absolutely sure that teams are scouting, studying, and preparing for one another in whatever capacity they can based on the information that they have gathered.
So while our last head-to-head with the Dominican Republic from three years ago gives us somewhat of a starting point on what to expect, one can never be too sure until tip-off actually happens.
That’s why they play the games.
Banner image from FIBA Basketball.