Gilas falls to Al Ahli
MANILA, Philippines - Gilas Pilipinas succumbed to Al Ahli and its three imports, absorbing a stinging 97-82 setback to the host team in Day Two of the 24th Dubai International basketball tournament at the Al Ahli Sports Club in Dubai Saturday night (early Sunday morning in Manila).
The Filipinos failed to contain former New York Knick Cheikh Samb and NBA D-League players Leroy Hurd and Leemire Goldwire, struggling all night and absorbing the 15-point loss that came after a 79-77 decision over Al Mouttahed of Lebanon Friday night.
"D team's immaturity showed. Cudnt handle playing vs 3 ex NBA vets," said Gilas coach Chot Reyes on his Twitter account later.
The 7-foot-1 Samb, 6-foot-10 Hurd and six-foot guard Goldwire combined for 63 points while the Al-Ahli defense held naturalized Filipino player Marcus Douthit to nine markers.
Garvo Lanete and Nino Cañaleta paced Gilas with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
"Sorry for the loss. I should have been smarter and more of a leader. Never too old to learn," posted Douthit on his own Twitter account.
"My fault. I inexplicably lost my voice 5 mins into d game pa lang. Gone. Just like that. Couldn't coach well d rest of d way," Reyes further tweeted.
Samb and Hurd imposed their strength at the paint, making the big difference as Al Ahli bounced back from a loss to Sporting Amarex of Jordan Friday.
Gilas Pilipinas and Sporting Amarex were to play late last night in the final day of group plays.