Bolick, Blatche lead Gilas Pilipinas past Ivory Coast to end Spain camp
MANILA, Philippines—Gilas Pilipinas wrapped up its training camp in Spain on a high note, beating Ivory Coast, 73-63, in the Torneo de Malaga Saturday in Malaga, Spain.
After a disappointing outing in an 82-71 loss to Congo on Friday, Gilas redeemed itself with a fine defensive performance.
“Coach Yeng (Guiao) used the pre-game huddle to challenge the players to find ways to win even with just a nine-man compliment,” said Gilas assistant coach Ryan Gregorio. “He goaded the players to play solid man-to-man defense and team defense against the taller, stronger and more athletic Ivory Coast national team.”
The Nationals rose the occasion, clamping down on defense from the get-go that prevented Ivory Coast from getting into its rhythm.
The stifling Gilas defense held Ivory coast to shoot just 16-of-44 from the two-point area.
Gilas also played much better offensively this time with only seven turnovers as compared to 18 against Congo. Ivory Coast, on the other hand, turned the ball over 14 times.
Robert Bolick scored a team-high 19 points, including a three-point play that pushed the Filipinos’ lead back to 10 with under a minute left. It marked the second straight game where Bolick led Gilas in scoring after firing 21 against Congo.
Andray Blatche posted a double-double with 18 points and 18 rebounds that went with four assists and three steals.
“Coach Yeng was satisfied after the game. The short tournament enabled us to gain confidence as we enter the last two weeks of preparation for the World Cup. He reminded the players to continue working on their 3-point shooting, defense and master the offensive sets for it to be second nature for everyone,” Gregorio said. “He also told the players to continuously improve and not to regress.”
The team flies back to Manila on Monday and will resume its practices Wednesday at Meralco Gym.
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