Gilas bows to Australia
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine national basketball team lost steam down the stretch to lose to Australia, 97-75, in the Bleu Blanc Tour in France.
Gilas Pilipinas was only down by five points, 47-42, at halftime, but the bigger Australians asserted their might in the third period to take a double-digit spread, 73-63, entering the final frame.
Australia proceeded to out-score the Philippines, 24-12, in the fourth quarter to turn a close game into a rout.
Gilas Pilipinas had begun their campaign in France with a confidence-boosting 75-68 loss to the host nation in their opening game.
Naturalized center Andray Blatche led the way for Gilas with 20 points and 10 rebounds in over 28 minutes of playing time.
Australia was led by San Antonio Spurs forward Aron Baynes, who scored 15 points. Their assistant head coach, Luc Longley, told Basketball Australia that their team was "nervous" going into the game.
"They (Gilas) were a Korea, Angola-style game where they just run around and jack up threes, very hard to scout and very hard to prepare for," Longley said of the Filipinos.
"It was a game where we needed to be disciplined defensively and only taking good looks was important, which I thought the guys did a really good job of doing," he added.
Meanwhile, Gilas head coach Chot Reyes said on Twitter after the game: "We wanted to be better today than we were yesterday. Obviously we weren't. Let's see how we'll react tomorrow."
Gilas Pilipinas will next play Ukraine.