Aug 08, 2019

Gilas Pilipinas subdues Ivory Coast, sweeps tune-up matches

GILAS Pilipinas is on a roll.

The Filipinos leaned on a strong second half to turn back Ivory Coast, 94-83, to complete a sweep of their two-game tune-up matches at the Palacio Multiusos de Guadalajara in Spain.

Naturalized player Andray Blatche had a double-double of 18 points and 10 assists, while Paul Lee finished with 16 points to spearhead a huge Gilas fightback in the second period.

The nationals trailed, 28-19, after the opening period before Lee caught fire to help the team cut the deficit at five during the break.

Blatche then took over in the second half, scoring 11 of his points as the Filipinos finally took control, 79-75, heading to the final quarter.

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"We settled down after the half. We scored 34 points in the third quarter to take the lead for good after 36 minutes of play," said deputy coach Ryan Gregorio.

Blatche went 3-of-7 from three-point range and Lee 3-of-4 to help the Filipinos score a second straight win after trouncing Congo earlier, 102-80.

Japeth Aguilar also scored in double figures with 12 while CJ Perez added 11 for Gilas, which didn't field in veteran guard Gabe Norwood due to a mild groin strain he suffered in the game against Congo.

Gilas will next travel to Malaga for the four-country pocket tournament where it will be joined by host country Spain.

The Filipinos take on Congo anew while Spain battles Ivory Coast, with the winner of each pairing facing each other at the end of the meet. (RG)

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