Australia beats Gilas in Asian World Cup Qualifiers

Mitchell Creek had 12 points and 11 rebounds to lead Australia in an 84-68 victory over Philippines in the World Cup Asian Qualifiers on Thursday.

Creek’s defense and strength inside the rim paid dividence for Australia as it prevailed against the high-octane performances of Gilas Pilipinas. With a tight start, the Australians started to pull away in the last three minutes of the second quarter as they ended up having a 37-32 lead.

Cameron Richard Gliddon scored 16 points and he also shot 4 of 6 from outside the arc while Kevin Lisch added also 16 points.

The Philippine team started it right as the competively traded baskets through leadership of June Mar Fajardo who scored 15 points. Matthew Wright scored nine points to help Gilas Pilipinas in a losing cause.

Gilas Pilipinas couldn’t sustain their aggressiveness in the second half as the Austalians tighten the defense. Andrew Blatche scored only eight points for the Philippines. Blatche also grabbed seven rebounds but his performance was not enough for Gilas to beat Australia.

Gilas now has a 2-1 record in Group B while Australia stood as the only undefeated team with a 3-0 card.

“All we wanted to do is to compete. And I felt we were able to do that, we competed, we competed hard. But it’s hard coming to the ball game when you’re also thinking of the next game,” said Gilas head coach Chot Reyes of their upcoming battle against Japan.

Lakers acquire Isaiah Thomas in a trade

The Los Angeles Lakers have made one of the biggest moves to beat the NBA trade deadline by acquiring Isaiah Thoms and Channing Frying from the Cleveland Cavaliers and sending Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.

While the Lakers trade will not be able to help the Lakers into the playoffs, they have created a bigger future salaries to go after big names in the upcoming free agency. Rumors have been swirling around that the Lakers can lure LeBron James and Paul George this summer. The Lakers have a $46.9 million cap room to accommodate two stars in the free agency. Unloading Clarkson’s $26 million owed over the next two seasons was important for the Lakers aspirations of landing a big talent. The Cavs helped the Lakers for this reason.

For the Cavaliers, the trade could be a quick fix on what they are experiencing. The Cavaliers didn’t get better since the insertion of Thomas in the roster, instead it created some sort of damage in their chemistry that resulted to more losses than victories. It provides stability with younger legs both in offense and defense. Clarkson averages 14.5 points per game in which he comes from the bench often while Nance averages 8.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

Will the Lakers be able to get stars in the free agency with this action?