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Loss marks end of Gilas Lithuania training sojourn

A GILAS-PILIPINAS five missing two main cogs dropped an 86-79 decision to Birstono Jazz Diremta at Svyrutio Arena in Klaipeda City at the close of its Lithuanian training camp Saturday.

With Marc Pingris sidelined because of a shoulder injury, the Nationals also played without Gabe Norwood, who had to fly back to Manila for his wedding to long-time girlfriend Lei Feranil.

Team Philippines ended its seven-game stint against commercial Lithuanian clubs with a 5-2 record, the losses coming at the hands of Birstono and LSU-Baltai.

The Filipinos swept their two matches against the tall Lithuanian 20-under squad.

Trailing, 30-36 at the half, the Filipinos failed to mount a rally and absorbed their worst loss in the series. They lost by just three points to Baltai last week.

The Nationals, who are honing up for the Fiba Asia World Championship qualifier, scheduled Aug. 1 to 11 at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, are expected back home today and to resume practice within the week.

In the first week of July, the Nationals fly out again to play NBA Summer League teams in Las Vegas before heading back home for the final phase of their tuneups against PBA All-Star Selections in Davao, Cebu and Manila.

The Las Vegas trip became necessary after organizers of the Jones Cup withdrew their invitation to the Filipinos to defend their title in the annual event slated July 6 to 16 in Taipei. Musong R. Castillo

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