CEBU -- Philippine national basketball team Gilas Pilipinas suffers yet another setback as they lost to the much taller Team Greece, 82-70, early morning Monday (Philippine Time) in the second day of the 2014 FIBA World Cup Championships in Sevilla, Spain.
Team Greece was able to control the game against the Gilas squad who poured in all they've got in the fourth period.
In the first quarter, Gilas were able to cling to a 10-point deficit, 20-10. The Greeks were able to command the lead after having a 6-0 run up until the 2:14 mark. With height disadvantage coupled with nice defense by Greece, Gilas were forced to take contested outside shots.
Center Junemar Fajardo lead the Gilas scoring 6 points at the start of the second quarter to tie the game 17-17 at the 7:58 mark.
Andray Blatche and Gabe Norwood also put up nice shots. Jimmy Alapag also helped create shot opportunities for Gilas.
But the combined power of Greek point guard Kostas Sloukas and power forward Georgios Printezis was able to contain the Philippines to maintain their lead to 10 points, 37-27, at the end of the first half.
Things took a sad turn for team Gilas’ defense in the third period as Greece relied on their big men to create opportunities both inside and outside the paint. Greece’s lead went further to 17 points 54-38 in the 3:47 mark. Printezis along with point guard Nick Calathes lead Greece in the third period to secure their advantage 58-45.
Jeff Chan opened the fourth quarter with a triple for Gilas opening hope to get closer in the game. But Greece made shot after shots in transition courtesy of Printezis who finished with 25 points. Greece dominated the painted area scoring 42 points against Gilas’ 28.
The struggling Filipinos poured out everything they got but their poor defense became a factor. They were still down 15 points in the 5:15 mark in the final quarter 69-54. Printezis was still unstoppable in the final period with Blatche already sitting on the bench with three minutes left in the game.
Gilas was able to get a nice rally in the 3-minute mark 75-63 with Paul Lee and LA Tenorio sinking triples. Philippines was able to cut Greece’s lead 79-70 with 1:38 left in clock. Greece was able to hold on until the game clock expired.
Philippines ended with a 0-2 win-loss record while Greece maintained a 2-0 clean record.
Gilas will look to end their losing streak when they face Team Argentina, another powerhouse in the Group B, at 11 p.m. Philippine time. (Buen Josef C. Andrade/Sunnex)
Philippines - (70) Alapag 3, Tenorio 3, Chan 3, William 5, David 2, De Ocampo 4, Norwood 5, Blatche 21, Fajardo 10, Dalistan 5, Aguilar 2, Pingris 7
Greece – (82) Mantzaris 0, Bourousis 12, Zisis 8, Vasileiadis 6, Calathes 9, Papanikolaou 9, Sloukas 3, Kaimakoglou 5, Antetokounmpo 3, Vougioukas 2, Printezis 25
Quarter scores – 20-10, 27-37, 58-45, 80-72