Team Pilipinas finally got to flex its muscles after engaging Meralco in a tune-up game a day before it leaves for the crucial final window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
The nationals booked a runaway 100-82 victory at the Meralco gym Friday behind the outside shooting of guard Roger Pogoy, who finished with a game-high 21 points.
The team played minus naturalized player Andray Blatche, who has since returned to China to fulfil his obligation with mother ballclub Tianjin Gold Lions.
But it is what it is, and coach Yeng Guiao is ready to face whatever the team is dealt with.
“At least even without Andray, the guys are blending well. We played good defense and we are hoping we can still improve our defense.”
Team Pilipinas leaves for Doha, Qatar early Saturday morning and will play the host on Feb. 21, before departing for Astana, Kazakhstan for its Feb. 24 match.
Philippines 100 – Pogoy 21, Lassiter 14, Fajardo 13, Rosario 10, Barroca 9, Aguilar 6, Ravena 5, Thompson 5, Norwood 4, Castro 4, Almazan 4, Erram 2.
Meralco 82 – Amer 14, Hugnatan 13, Salva 12, De Ocampo 11, Hodge 9, Jackson 4, Pinto 4, Canaleta 4, Caram 2, Jamito 2, Quinto 0, Dillinger 0, Tolomia 0.
Quarterscores: 23-21; 55-45; 83-59; 100-82.