The Gilas Pilipinas men’s basketball team got back to its winning ways as they trounced India, 79-63, in the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers on Sunday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Dwight Ramos led the Philippines’ attack with 21 points, five rebounds, four steals, and two assists, including nine in the first period that saw the Gilas come away with a 21-10 lead. So relentless were the Filipinos that they stretched their lead to 21, 45-24, at halftime before extending it to a high of 24 at 48-24 early in the third.

The Gilas finished the first round of the qualifiers for the prestigious FIBA World Cup with an even 2-2 card. More importantly, they snapped a two-game losing streak, with both losses coming at the hands of New Zealand, which included a massive 46-point loss, 60-106, earlier in the week.

The Philippines, New Zealand, and India now advance to the second round of the qualifiers, where they will now mix it up with the top three squads from Group C. These are Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.

Kiefer Ravena finished with 12 points, four dimes, two boards, and two steals. William Navarro added 11 points and four boards, while young Cebuano big man Carl Tamayo chipped in nine points, nine rebounds, and three steals, despite spraining his ankle against New Zealand several days ago.

Despite the victory, the Gilas still has a lot of work to do as they committed 15 turnovers and made just six of their 28 attempts from beyond the arc.