Downed under

first_imgHardly intimidated by the Aussies’ height and heft, the Filipinos provided a stiffer-than-expected challenge against the Boomers before absorbing an 84-68 loss at Margaret Court Arena.Reigning four-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo had 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, but naturalized player Andray Blatche came up with only eight points and seven boards as Gilas absorbed its first loss in the qualifying stage.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkAustralia opened the qualifying round with two straight wins over Chinese-Taipei and Japan by an average of 31 points. It didn’t help that Gilas missed top scorer Jayson Castro due to an ankle injury.That hardly mattered in the opening minutes as an aggressive Gilas start left the hosts reeling in the first 17 minutes, where the Filipinos even took a 30-25 lead after a one-handed shot by Fajardo inside the paint. GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kings Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano LATEST STORIES Andray Blatche (right) coughs up just eight points after a promising start. —FIBA ASIAWithout its top point guard and playing on enemy ground, it was always going to be tough for the Philippines.But a competitive first half against highly-fancied Australia in Melbourne on Thursday gave Gilas a springboard heading into another important Fiba World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers this weekend.ADVERTISEMENT UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer MOST READ Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi City Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Beermen eye playoff bonus Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Fajardo’s strong performance, particularly in the first half, augurs well for the Filipinos as they brace for battle against the Japanese this Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.Matthew Wright had nine points and RR Pogoy chipped in eight points in just 12 minutes for coach Chot Reyes, who also gave former La Salle center Abu Tratter his first taste of international action. Tratter finished with two points.The Boomers began pulling away in the second half with Cameron Gliddon doing damage, tallying 16 points on 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Mitch Creek came up with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Boomers, who dominated the boards, 50-30. Australia also had 16 assists, eight more than Gilas.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson View commentslast_img