Gilas makes presence felt

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Sunday, August 17, 2014


THE Gilas Pilipinas failed to sustain its outside shooting and eventually bowed down to the bigger France, 75-68, in the 2014 Antibes International Basketball Tournament held in the resort town in southern France yesterday (Friday evening in France).

It was Gilas’ torrid outside shooting that took the French by surprise as the smaller Filipinos nearly pulled an upset over the world’s No. 8 squad.

Nicolas Batum, who played for the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA, saved the French from defeat as he scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and saved the host team from shame.

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The Filipinos sank a total of 12 three-point shots that helped them take the lead for the most part of the game.

However, when naturalized player Andray Blatche injured his right ankle late in the third quarter, France slowly ate up the lead and eventually took over the game as Gilas started missing its shots.

Today, Gilas will play Australia and head coach Chot Reyes is hoping their could play better game than what they displayed against the French squad.

“Nice effort tonight vs. France. Need to keep improving and play better vs Australia tomorrow (today),” tweeted Reyes.

Aside from Batum, Joffrey Lauvergne (Denver Nuggets) added 12 points, Mikael Pietrus (Toronto Raptors) and Nando de Colo (Toronto Raptors) had 10 and eight points each for France.

The other France players who played in the NBA includes Boris Diaw of the San Antonio Spurs and Evan Fournier of the Orlando Magic. But the team is playing without its star point guard Tony Parker of San Antonio Spurs who withdraw from the team because of injury.

Rain or Shine star guard Paul Lee also had 12 points for Gilas, his Elasto Painters teammate Jeff Chan made nine points while Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters’ Jimmy Alapag and Ranidel de Ocampo added eight points each for the Philippines. (RCM)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 17, 2014.

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