Australians finish strong, whip Gilas 5
Andray Blatche came up with a better effort Saturday night (Sunday morning in Manila) but still couldn’t help Gilas Pilipinas from absorbing its second straight loss in the Antibes International Basketball Tournament in Antibes, France.
The 6-foot-11 NBA veteran, who will be the Philippines’ naturalized player in the World Cup later this month, scored 20 points and had 10 rebounds but the Australians proved every bit as good as their world No. 9 ranking in blasting the Filipinos, 97-75, at Azur Arena.
Gilas stayed with the Aussies for close to three-fourths of the way only to sputter in the end. The Filipinos also lost to host France, 68-75, on Friday.
The Filipinos close out this pocket tournament Sunday against Ukraine, a squad coached by former NBA mentor Mike Fratello.
Like the French, the Aussies boast a slew of NBA veterans led by San Antonio Spurs’ Aron Baynes and Chicago Bull’s Cameron Bairstow.
Baynes scattered 15 points to pace the cagers from Down Under, who remained undefeated in two games counting a 74-65 victory over the Ukrainians, also on Friday.
“We wanted to be better today than we were yesterday,” said Gilas coach Chot Reyes. “Obviously we weren’t.”
Four other stars tossed in twin digits for the Aussies, 10th placers in the last World Cup.
Jason Castro, Jeff Chan and Gary David scored 12, 11, and 10 points, respectively for the Nationals, who were just 10 behind at the end of the third before being held to just 12 points in the last 10 minutes.
The Filipinos were down by just three after the first quarter and by five at the half before the Aussies, a side fancied to make it deep in Spain, broke away late in the third period.
The Philippines will begin its World Cup stint against Greece in Group B and will play Puerto Rico, Senegal, Croatia and former titlist Argentina. Musong R Castillo
AUSTRALIA 97—Baynes 15, Broekhoff 14, Dellavedova 13, Newley 13, Jawai 10, Exum 8, Gibson 7, Motum 7, Goulding 6, Bairstow 4, Ingles 0.
GILAS PILIPINAS 75—Blatche 20, Castro 12, Chan 11, David 10, Dillinger 8, De Ocampo 4, Norwood 3, Alapag 2, Tenorio 2, Aguilar 2, Fajardo 1, Pingris 0, Lee 0, Belga 0.
Quarters: 20-17, 47-42, 73-63, 97-75
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