Sunday, August 23, 2015
Gilas Pilipinas shows progress but falls short vs Iceland (Highlights VIDEO)
The Gilas Pilipinas team finally played its most competitive game yet but still fell short against Iceland, 86-76, in the 2015 Toyota Four Nations Cup Saturday (early Sunday morning Philippine time) at Saku Suurhaal in Tallinn, Estonia.
Andray Blatche finally showed flashes of his old deadly form after scoring 22 points. Terrence Romeo had his finest performance in a Gilas Pilipinas jersey, scoring 17 including a heat check display late in the second period where he scored 10 straight points.Jayson Castro added 11 points for Gilas Pilipinas.The loss meant that the Filipinos dropped all of their matches in the pocket tournament, but they visibly showed signs of progress every game despite the defeats.
Against Iceland, Gilas Pilipinas was even able to take the lead after trailing by double digits, and also made a late run in the fourth quarter.
The Filipinos fell behind in the first quarter and played catchup basketball for the entire first half. They trailed by as much as 18 points, 46-28, but got a huge boost from Romeo who suddenly exploded for Gilas Pilipinas.
Romeo two triples and two jumpers for the last two minutes of the half as the Filipinos trimmed their deficit, 46-38.
Gilas Pilipinas then launched a 13-2 run capped by a Blatche trey in the third period to take the lead, 51-48. But Iceland made timely baskets and doused every Filipino rally as it rebuilt a 15-point lead, 81-66, in the final frame.
But the Filipinos had one last push, scoring seven straight points to cut the deficit to just eight, 81-73, with 1:44 left. However, Iceland made a basket with 58 seconds left to ice the win.
It was the third straight loss for the team after dropping games against Netherlands and Estonia. But the loss to Iceland was an improvement for the Filipinos are just in their third week together as a group.
The game also capped off Gilas Pilipinas’ European training camp. They will fly back to Manila on Monday and in a few days will plunge back to action at the William Jones Cup in Taiwan.
Gilas Pilipinas is using the matches to prepare for the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship in September where a spot in the 2016 Rio Olympics is at stake.