Tall Blacks edge Gilas five


10:28 PM July 18th, 2013

July 18th, 2013 10:28 PM

GILAS-Pilipinas ended its New Zealand campaign with a close 76-77 setback to the Tall Blacks, NZ’s national squad, Thursday.

“Lost to NZ national team, 76-77. Tall Blacks have only been practicing for three days and missing a couple of guys. But we played well,” said Gilas coach Chot Reyes on his Twitter account.

“More importantly, we played physical. Two of their guys bloodied, one limped off, all accidental, of course,” he added.

The loss capped the Nationals’ six-game training stint, their final tuneup for the Fiba Asia Championship which gets going on Aug. 1 at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

The Filipinos, who are expected to fly home this weekend, lost three of their last four games.

Skipping the previous two games to rest an ailing back, naturalized center Marcus Douthit had 28 points and 14 rebounds against the Tall Blacks, who are ranked 18th in the world.

Gilas posted two consecutive wins against the Hawke Bay Hawks in Napier but lost a pair of close games against the NBL All Stars (85-86) and the Wellington Saints (96-100).

On Wednesday, the Nationals downed the Super City Rangers, 95-77.  June Navarro

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