Disappointment as Gilas squanders early lead, falls to France

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine men’s national basketball team surrendered a 10-point lead in the first half and fell short in their rally late before eventually losing to France, 93-84, in the first day of the FIBA Manila Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Tuesday, July 5, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Playing in front of its home fans, Gilas started the game with a crowd-awakening dunk from Andray Blatche and seemed in firm control of the game until halfway through the second period.

Former NBA Finals MVP Tony Parker then led a rally that allowed France to go ahead by two at the half. In the third period, impressive execution on pick-and-roll plays by France’s ball-handlers and big man Boris Diaw consistently found holes in Gilas’ defense, leading to a 32-point scoring output in 10 minutes.

Gilas cut the lead to 4 with 3:09 left in the fourth period after a put-back layup by Gabe Norwood, but France capitalized on points in the paint to hold on for the win.

Parker finished with 21 points, 6 assists, and 5 boards while Nando de Colo led all scorers with 27. 

Gilas was led by the 21 points and 8 rebounds of Andray Blatche. Terrence Romeo also played well with 19 points. 

France shot 54% from the field while Gilas hit only 41% of its shots. France also dominated the battle in the paint, 54-34. – Rappler.com