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.