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e-Gilas bucks slow start, tops Day 1 of FIBA eSports Open II

e-Gilas bucks slow start, tops Day 1 of FIBA eSports Open II

MANILA, Philippines — e-Gilas Pilipinas drew mixed results in Day 1 of the FIBA eSports Open II on Saturday against broader field.

Though suffering a stunning loss to Australia, 53-70, in their first game of the day, the defending Southeast Asian champs were able to get their game back and finish the day atop the Southeast Asia/Oceania Conference.

Their opening game loss did not hinder e-Gilas as they bounced back with a dominating 65-37 win against Team Indonesia, a team they swept in the first FIBA eSports Open earlier this year.

Aljon Cruzin (Shintarou) notched a game-high 28 points on a stellar 8-of-11 shooting from the 3-point line, eight assists and three rebounds to get the Filipino gamers back in their groove.

The momentum seemed to swing the Pinoys' way as the dominance continued as Team Pilipinas avenged their opening loss and beat Team Australia with a very convincing 26 point win, 81-55 in their third outing.

It was Shintarou once again who paced e-Gilas with 37 points in the grudge match victory.

The last assignment of the day e-Gilas was another match-up with Indonesia.

A different game from their first head to head, Indonesia kept at pace with e-Gilas, ending the first half with only an eight point deficit. The pace did not change in the second half with both teams trading baskets, Team Indonesia even cut the lead to as little as three with 1:14 ticks left in the game.

But the Pinoys would not allow anyone else have the final say and fired four straight 3-pointers ending the game with a 15 point lead, 65-50.

Clark Banzon (Clark) was the hero in the final game with his 24 points and six assists en route to the team's third straight victory.

Day 1 ended with both e-Gilas Pilipinas and Australia with identical 3-1 slates but with a superior point difference of 52, e-Gilas edged out the Australians for the top spot.

All three teams will face each other once more later today to determine the top 2 teams that will battle it out in the Finals.

All games are streamed via the FIBA Facebook and YouTube channels, as well as via Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas - SBP Facebook page.