Gilas tops China in Italy tuneup match
MANILA, Philippines - Gilas Pilipinas got a much-needed boost of confidence in its FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament preparations Sunday, June 26, defeating China, 72-69, at The Palazzo in Bologna, Italy.
Terrence Romeo topscored for the Philippines with 18 points on 3-of-4 shooting from downtown, while Andray Blatche scored 14 and grabbed 12 rebounds. Jeff Chan turned in 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting and Jayson Castro scored 9.
The win comes on the heels of disappointing outings, including losses by 35 and 36 to Turkey and Italy respectively. Gilas also earned a measure of revenge against China after losing to their neighboring rivals in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championships final, though China was without former NBA player Yi Jianlian, and 2016 Houston Rockets draft pick Zhou Qi didn't play according to FIBA Live Stats.
Wang Zhelin, who was drafted in the second round this year by the Memphis Grizzlies, played 22 minutes and scored 9 points.
Calvin Abueva and LA Tenorio, who were the final two players cut for the 12-man roster, did not see action.
The Olympic Qualifying Tournament kicks off July 5 at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines. The Philippines must finish first among 6 teams to qualify for the Olympic basketball tournament for the first time since 1972. – Rappler.com
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