MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas ended its Spain camp on a high note with a 73-63 win over Ivory Coast in the Torneo de Malaga at the Jose Maria Martin Carpena Arena on Saturday, August 10 (Sunday, August 11, Philippine time).
Andray Blatche and Robert Bolick showed the way anew for the Philippines, which won 3 of its 4 friendly matches in Guadalajara and Malaga that served as part of its buildup for the upcoming FIBA World Cup.
Blatche delivered 18 points, 18 rebounds and 4 assists, while Bolick chalked up 19 points and 7 rebounds as they conspired in the closing stretch to help the Filipinos topple the Ivorians for the second time.
Ivory Coast trailed 63-68 with two minutes left before Blatche and Bolick teamed up in a mini 5-0 spurt that secured the win for the Philippines.
Japeth Aguilar and Paul Lee put up 9 points and 3 rebounds apiece, while CJ Perez, Matthew Wright, and Poy Erram combined for 18 points and 10 rebounds in the victory.
Just like in its 71-82 loss to Congo a day ago, Gilas fielded only 9 players with Gabe Norwood (mild groin injury) and Kiefer Ravena (FIBA suspension) sitting out.
The Filipinos will leave Spain on August 12 and will be back in the country on August 13 as they finalize their preparations for the quadrennial showpiece, which will kick off in China on August 31. – Rappler.com
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.