National

Still alot of work ahead for Gilas but Norwood believes team 'doing a good job'

Still alot of work ahead for Gilas but Norwood believes team 'doing a good job'

MANILA, Philippines—Gilas Pilipinas captain Gabe Norwood knows the team still has a lot to work on heading into the 2019 Fiba World Cup, but he’s confident the team is on the right track.

The Nationals turned back the Adelaide 36ers, 92-83,  in a tune-up game Friday at Meralco Gym and Norwood said the chemistry is already there.

“I think chemistry was the least of our problems today,” said Norwood. “I think in terms of everybody getting along, trying to get on the same page, I think we’re doing a good job.”

Norwood, who played the entirety of the second half, tallied zero points but it was his leadership that stood out the most, keeping his teammates in check and being a sound defender against the 36ers.

Gilas needed every ounce of effort against the Australian club team and they did just that in the final 3:34 of the game.

Roger Pogoy lit up in the final minutes, scoring eight points in Gilas’ 13-2 game-closing run that Japeth Aguilar capped off with two-handed poster dunk on Eric Griffin with around 35 seconds to play.

“I think effort was through the roof,” said Norwood. “We did a good job rebounding and getting into transition so as long as we keep doing that—make teams work hard for baskets, not give up easy points—I think we’ll be okay.”

Gilas had a slim 34-33 lead in total rebounds but the players found their mark from beyond the arc, going 10-of-24 from three-point distance while Adelaide went 6-of-22.

“I don’t like rating things, I think we still have work to do. That’s all I could say,” said Norwood.