Gilas Pilipinas comes from behind to defeat NZ Saints

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) — Gilas Pilipinas pulled off another heart-stopping come-from-behind victory against New Zealand's Wellington Saints, 84-81, in the 2015 MVP Cup on Saturday, September 12 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

It was a victory similar to their overtime masterpiece 8 days ago in Taipei during the William Jones Cup as Gilas went on to bag the silver medal in that tournament.

Terrence Romeo caught fire in the payoff period and poured 14 of his 18 points as the Philippine national men's basketball team rallied from 13 points down fueled by Romeo's 4 three-pointers in that quarter.

The 5-foot-9 guard gave Gilas the lead thanks to a booming trey, 78-76, with 3:03 remaining. Romeo, a boost off the bench for head coach Tab Baldwin, also had his hand in the crucial basket as he dished off a pass to veteran Jayson Castro on the break for the two that padded the Philippines' edge, 82-79.

Saints playing coach Kevin Braswell knocked down two free throws to make it just a one-point game but Romeo, who muffed 4 straight free throws prior, finally made two with 7.7 seconds remaining for the final tally.

Gilas improved its record to 2-0 in the 4-team pocket tournament with only Chinese-Taipei their final opponent on Sunday, September 13. They defeated Talk 'N Text on Friday.

Naturalized big man Andray Blatched finished with 16 points, 9 rebounds, two steals and a block, and Calvin Abueva added 10 points 6 rebounds and a block.

Braswell led 4 Kiwis in double figures with 25 points and 5 assists but also tallied 8 turnovers. Justin Richard Edwards and Ray Turner each had 17 points as Wellington fell to 1-1. –