Saturday, August 22, 2015
Gilas Pilipinas bows to host Estonia, 90-80 for second straight loss
The Gilas Pilipinas, Philippine national men’s basketball team, suffered its second straight loss after bowing to host Estonia, 90-80, in the 2015 Toyota Four Nations Cup Friday (early Saturday morning Philippine time) at Saku Suurhaal in Tallinn.
Naturalized player Andray Blatche scored 16 points and three rebounds while Jayson Castro added 13 markers to lead the Filipinos in the second game of the team in its European training camp.
Terrence Romeo also had 10 points while Calvin Abueva scored eight points and three rebounds but his game was cut short after fouling out at the 5:24 mark of the third quarter.
Players who were absent in the team’s 27-point loss to The Netherlands suited up against Estonia, namely Dondon Hontiveros, JC Intal and Moala Tautuaa who made his Gilas Pilipinas debut.
The Filipinos were down the entire game, trailing by as much as 23 points. They had some moments in the dying minutes where they were able to trim their deficit to single digits, but not enough to overcome Estonia.
It was a sloppy opening period for Gilas Pilipinas as it committed five turnovers in the first five minutes of the game.
Estonia, on the other hand, displayed crisp passing and flawless plays that led to easy baskets at the expense of the porous Gilas Pilipinas defense. The host’s hot shooting from the outside also didn’t help the Filipinos who gave up six triples in the quarter alone.
With that, Estonia took a 33-18 lead after the first quarter.
Gilas Pilipinas had some anxious moments at the start of the second period when Abueva fell down on the floor hard after trying to contest a shot. He was subbed out of the game, but later returned.
The Estonians stretched their lead to 23, 49-26, but back-to-back triples by Jayson Castro and Dondon Hontiveros as well as a basket by Abueva trimmed it to just 13, 49-35.
However, Gilas Pilipinas committed fouls and miscues in the end while Estonia got lucky after Martin Dorbek made a desperation triple from halfcourt. Estonia pushed its lead to 20, 55-35, after the first half.
Estonia held on to their lead over the Filipinos in the third quarter, and Abueva’s ejection after being called for a technical didn’t help Gilas Pilipinas’ cause. The hosts still had a 20-point lead, 77-57, at the end of the third quarter.
Gilas Pilipinas showed some improvement on both ends of the floor in the fourth quarter, with Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, who eventually fouled out, blocking an Estonia fastbreak and Troy Rosario jamming one home in a play.
The Filipinos were even to cut their deficit to just nine, 86-77, with just two minutes left. But time wasn’t enough for a comeback as the result was already beyond reach.
Estonia was led by Janar Talts who scored 20 points as they remained unbeaten in the pocket tournament.
Gilas Pilipinas hopes to end its training camp on a high note against Iceland on Saturday.