Smart Gilas Pilipinas scores repeat over 20-U LithuaniansBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines — Smart Gilas Pilipinas pulled off a repeat triumph over the 20-and-under Lithuanian national team, 88-84, on Thursday night (Manila time) in a “physically intense match,” its head coach said.
The Philippine team still got the better of the young and tall Lithuanians, which it beat last Wednesday 83-75, as part of its two-week camp.
But this time, Smart Gilas took care of the leather better and managed to limit its turnovers to just seven, according to national team mentor Chot Reyes in a tweet.
Marc Pingris sat out due to a strained shoulder.
The Lithuanians came out “strong and spirited,” said assistant Josh Reyes, as they were hard pressed to score one against the Filipinos.
“They are pressured to win as their media criticized them for losing to us. They brought in their top guard,” said the younger Reyes.
The Philippine team totes 4-1 slate thus far with a few more days left in Lithuania.
“Instead of one, we’re playing two more games to simulate the three straight game schedule of FIBA,” said Chot.
Smart Gilas Pilipinas is scheduled to play anew on Friday versus Baltai, then on Saturday against Bistrono.