Gilas draws with Mighty Sports in tuneup match

Delfin Dioquino
Gilas draws with Mighty Sports in tuneup match
The national team shows poise in the endgame, erasing a six-point deficit in the final minute

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas figured in an 85-85 draw with the import-laden Mighty Sports in its first tuneup match ahead of the 2019 FIBA World Cup at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City on Monday, July 8.

The national team got buried by double digits early but found its footing in the second half, eventually draining back-to-back three-pointers in the final minute to force a draw.

With Gilas down 79-85, Marcio Lassiter sank a stepback triple to cut their deficit to a single possession, while CJ Perez knotted the score behind another trey with 14.7 seconds left.

McKenzie Moore had a chance to win it all for Mighty, but saw his jumper from top of the key fall short after being bothered by Lassiter and Japeth Aguilar.

Also seeing action for Gilas were June Mar Fajardo, Roger Pogoy, Mark Barroca, CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, Beau Belga, Gabe Norwood, and Matthew Wright.

Reinforcing the other side were former PBA imports Renaldo Balkman, Eugene Phelps, and Hamady N’Diaye, and Filipino-Americans Jeremiah Gray and Jason Brickman.

The national team will welcome naturalized player Andray Blatche later this week with less than two months before the World Cup, which kicks off in China on August 31. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.