IN PHOTOS: Gilas Pilipinas starts strong, falls late to France

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines opened their game against France on fire, but in the end fell to the fifth-ranked team on Tuesday, July 5 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines. 

Gilas Pilipinas led by as many as 10 as they shocked France with their speed and long-range shooting. France's Tony Parker and Nando de Colo combined for 48 to start the FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament with a 93-84 win. The Philippines now must secure a win against New Zealand on Wednesday to keep hope alive to advance out of Group B as they seek their first trip to the Olympic basketball tournament since 1972.

Andray Blatche scored 21 and grabbed 8 rebounds with 3 steals while Terrence Romeo scored 19 and Castro added 14 and 3 assists

The game featured many exciting matchups for Filipino fans, including point guards Romeo and Castro against Parker, a former NBA champion with the San Antonio Spurs, plus Troy Rosario against Boris Diaw and Bobby Ray Parks Jr against ex-NBA player Mickael Gelabale.

Re-live the exciting game in these photos.

Terrence Romeo defends against France's Tony Parker, who plays for the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA
Terrence Romeo uses his speed to get a step on Boris Diaw of France.

Terrence Romeo uses his speed to get a step on Boris Diaw of France.

Andray Blatche sets up for a jump shot.

Andray Blatche sets up for a jump shot.

Andray Blatche of the Philippines drives to the rim against Boris Diaw of France. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Andray Blatche of the Philippines drives to the rim against Boris Diaw of France.

Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Bobby Ray Parks Jr drives for an and-1 play against France. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Bobby Ray Parks Jr drives for an and-1 play against France.

Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Filipino fans cheer on Gilas Pilipinas in their opening match of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Filipino fans cheer on Gilas Pilipinas in their opening match of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Troy Rosario of the Philippines puts up a jumper against France's Boris Diaw. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Troy Rosario of the Philippines puts up a jumper against France's Boris Diaw.

Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Terrence Romeo of Gilas Pilipinas receives respect from Mickael Gelabale of France. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Terrence Romeo of Gilas Pilipinas receives respect from Mickael Gelabale of France.

Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Tony Parker gets the step on Bobby Ray Parks Jr. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Tony Parker gets the step on Bobby Ray Parks Jr.

Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Tony Parker was feeling it late against Gilas Pilipinas. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Tony Parker was feeling it late against Gilas Pilipinas.

Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Ray Parks Jr and Terrence Romeo share a moment late in the game against France. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Ray Parks Jr and Terrence Romeo share a moment late in the game against France.

Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

France's Mickael Gelabale throws down a dunk. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

France's Mickael Gelabale throws down a dunk.

Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Jayson Castro cuts to the rim against France. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Jayson Castro cuts to the rim against France.

Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

 – Rappler.com