Friday, August 21, 2015
Gilas Pilipinas suffers 27-point loss to Netherlands in tuneup
The Gilas Pilipinas, Philippine national men’s basketball team, returned to competitive action on a sour note after succumbing to Netherlands, 89-62, in a tuneup game on Thursday (Friday morning Philippine time) at Saku Suurhaal in Tallinn, Estonia.
It was the first game played by Gilas Pilipinas which has been assembled for almost two weeks now under the guidance of coach Tab Baldwin.
But their rustiness showed against the Dutch who had been absent on the international stage for years. The Filipinos led by eight points in the second quarter, but allowed Netherlands to catch up and eventually take over.
Gilas Pilipinas had a disastrous third quarter, only managing to score four points compared to Netherlands’ 29.
Calvin Abueva made his presence felt in his national team debut, scoring 12 points on six-of-six shooting and six boards. Jayson Castro and Terrence Romeo, also a first-timer for Gilas Pilipinas, added eight points apiece.
Naturalized player Andray Blatche had a subpar game, only coming up with seven points and 12 rebounds for the Filipinos.
Facing the taller Dutch, the Filipinos made up for the height disadvantage with energy especially on the rebounds at the start of the match.
The Filipinos were able to grab a 15-9 lead in the first quarter after a jumper from Romeo.
But Netherlands went toe-to-toe after responding with a 7-1 run to tie the game at 16-all. The Dutch grabbed a 21-20 edge after the opening frame.
A layup by PBA hopeful Troy Rosario and baskets by Romeo and Asi Taulava put Gilas Pilipinas back on top, 26-23. Back-to-back jumpers by Castro and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser made it 31-23 for the Filipinos, their biggest lead of the game, with 5:25 left in the second period.
However, the Dutch were able to overcome the deficit right before halftime. Nicolas De Jong and Roeland Schafternaar carried the cudgels as they sparked a 16-7 run to end the first half with a slim 39-38 lead.
Netherlands opened the third frame with a 13-0 blast as it built a 52-38 lead. Castro fired a triple to stop the bleeding, but that didn’t prevent the Dutch from padding their cushion which swelled to 27, 68-41.
Apart from Castro’s triple, a split by Taulava from the free throw line were the only points Gilas Pilipinas was able to make in the third quarter.
Gilas Pilipinas showed some life in the fourth period when Abueva forced himself to the foul line to make six quick points. But that hardly mattered as Netherlands’ huge lead was too much to overcome.
Schafternaar, a veteran of the Greek basketball league, scored 15 points and seven rebounds to lead the Dutch who are preparing for the 2015 EuroBasket, their first appearance in the tournament after a 25-year absence.
Gilas Pilipinas will next take on Estonia and Iceland on Saturday.
The games are part of the Filipinos’ preparations for the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship where a spot in the 2016 Rio Olympics is at stake.