Gilas Pilipinas kicked off its 2-game friendlies with Australian squad Adelaide 36ers with a rousing 92-83 victory, Friday night at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City.
Andray Blatche presided over a balanced Philippine attack with a game-high 19 points to go along with 18 rebounds and 9 assists while Roger Pogoy sparked a telling 10-0 run in the closing minutes of the match which turned a 1-point deficit (80-81) into a 9-point advantage (90-81) with the game clock down to 1:56.
Pogoy finished with 10 points, 8 in the final 3 minutes of the match including 2 triples which broke the back of the Aussies for good.
“The 36ers gave us a really good game. I felt it was exactly what we needed. Yun yung kailangan talaga natin, rugged, physical, playing against bigger guys, playing against bigs who can run the floor, who are quick. Doon tayo nagkakaproblema eh,” said national team head coach Yeng Guiao.
“This gave us a glimpse of what we will face (in the World Cup),” added the fiery mentor.
Gilas played without Marcio Lassiter, Poy Erram and Matthew Wright who were all nursing injuries.
Japeth Aguilar contributed 17 points, 4 rebounds and 3 big blocks while CJ Perez and Paul Lee added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
The two teams square off again on Sunday in the same venue for the second and final tune-up game.
Gilad Pilipinas 92 – Blatche 19, Aguilar 17, Perez 12, Pogoy 10, Lee 10, Bolick 8, Almazan 7, Barroca 5, Fajardo 4, Norwood 0, Belga 0, Rosario 0.
Adelaide 36ers 83 – Moore 16, Froling 11, Teys 10, Dillon 10, Taylor 9, Griffin 9, Kyei 8, Johnson 6, McVeigh 4, White 0, Harris 0, Dmic 0.
Quarterscores: 25-16, 50-49, 73-68, 92-83.