Italy defeated Angola in the first game of Group A. What does this mean for Gilas Pilipinas?
No one is counting Angola out of the 2023 FIBA World Cup despite their loss to Italy. The team more than hung in there all the way until there were about seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, just before World No. 10 Italy switched gears and started to pound the ball inside.
The Italians have uncharacteristically shot poorly from long distance at only 5/31, leaving them with a three-point percentage of 16.1%. However, Angola also made it a dogfight with their stifling defense forcing 11 turnovers.
Despite having dropped their first assignment, one thing is for sure. No one in Group A is counting Angola out now.
Dundao played spectacularly wowing the crowd with his dazzling play and three-point shooting. Meanwhile, Tonut and Fontecchio paced the Italians with 16 and 19 apiece.
What does this mean for Gilas?
After their first game in the FIBA World Cup against Angola, it is clear that Italy is a team that shoots a lot of threes. If they make their shots, they’re deadly. Consequently, they miss them, then they’re beatable.
The Angolans on the other hand showed that they can speed the game up on both ends of the ball. But based on the eye test, it seems the Gilas bigs can more than hang with them in terms of skill and experience.
Images by Vyn Radovan.