Philippines target a second place billing

A week ago team Philippines seemed to be unravelling. They suffered a two-game losing skid and dropped from first place to third in local basketball’s top flight.

Now, thanks to last weekend’s results, team Philippines are second in the 2011 national men’s basketball league division one standings. Put on by the Cayman Islands Basketball Association, the competition sees its 10th round of games this Thursday 5 May at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Centre.

Philippines will hit the court at 6pm for a showdown with the V-Cool Watersports Silver Bullets. Heading into this week the Silver Bullets are hanging on to fourth place with a 3-4 mark. Both sides need a victory to stay ahead of the Tarheels and Esso Blazers, who play at 7.30pm on Thursday.

Christian Ferrer is the team captain for the Philippines squad. He is one of the better players, currently ranked fifth in scoring (averaging 21.6 points a game) and first in assists (with eight dishes per contest). He states the main concern for his Filipino side is slowing down Bullets star addition Curtis Wilson, who is averaging 18.4 points and 13.4 rebounds.

“The biggest factor for them is Curtis,” Ferrer said. “We got to figure out how to stop him. He’s 6ft 5in or 6ft 6in and we don’t have that kind of height on our team. But we practiced on Wednesday and tried a variety of zone defences and traps to take him out of their offence.

“Everything on our offence is good with guys like Eric Morata playing well. We just got to take care of our defence and our rebounding. We’re a run-and-gun team so we can get a lot of points in transition.”

The Filipino team comes into Thursday’s match after defeating the last-place Heat on Sunday. At the same time the Dominos Warriors handed the Wolves their third loss by a 92-82 score to push the defending champions into third place. In that encounter Dominos star Collin Anglin emerged as the league’s leading scorer thanks to his 30 points (including a trio of three-pointers). He also had four rebounds as his scoring average now sits at 27.4 per contest. Dwight O’Garro had a monster game for the champs with 25 points, 20 rebounds and eight assists.