MANILA, Philippines — Smart Gilas Pilipinas avenged its only setback in its two-week trip in Lithuania with a 90-88 nipping of LSU-Baltai late Friday (Manila time).
The Philippine team leaned on its clutch plays — according to national assistant coach Josh Reyes — to extinguish the hot-shooting Baltai, who canned 12 triples.
“Wow on their tall, quick release shooters. They were shooting over our outstretched arms,” Josh Reyes, son of Gilas head coach Chot, posted on Instagram.
Naturalized center Marcus Douthit led the nationals with 22 points, Jimmy Alapag had 16, while Jayson Castro and Gary David scored 10 each.
“We barely beat the young LSU team playing without imports,” said Chot. “They finished second to the last in Lithuania’s first division [league].”
It was the same team responsible for the only blemish, 86-89, in Smart Gilas’ record in their training camp, which is about to go on its home stretch.
The Nationals are 5-1 in its tune up games in Klaipeda with only one game left — last in the three-day stretch aimed at stimulating the daily schedule of the Fiba Asia Championships.