Gilas Pilipinas picks up 2nd tune-up win in Spain, turns back Ivory Coast
MANILA, Philippines—Gilas Pilipinas picked up a second straight victory in Spain, beating Ivory Coast, 94-83, in a tune-up game Thursday (Manila time) at Palacios Multiusos in Guadalajara.
Naturalized center Andray Blatche paced the Filipinos anew with 18 points, seven rebounds, and 10 assists. Paul Lee fired 16 points while Japeth Aguilar and Gilas rookie CJ Perez had 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Gilas Pilipinas trailed the taller Ivory Coast side, 28-19, in the first quarter, but Lee and Perez sparked the comeback for the Nationals, who held the African team to just eight points in the final quarter.
— SBP (@officialSBPinc) August 7, 2019
“I’m just proud. I guess that’s the most appropriate term,” said coach Guiao in an EPSN5 report from Spain. “I am really proud of the way they played, I am proud of the way they came back, I am proud of the way they were able to play against the physicality.”
It was exactly the challenge coach Yeng Guiao was looking for to test his players with just a few weeks out from the 2019 Fiba World Cup in China.
“It was physical. They were trying to overwhelm us with their size, with their weight, and with their strength.”
Gilas Pilipinas, which dominated Congo, 102-80, on Wednesday, is headed to Malaga next to play in a pocket tournament featuring powerhouse Spain.