MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas displayed utter dominance in its first practice game in Spain by thwarting Congo, 102-80, at the Palacio Multiusos de Guadalajara on Tuesday, August 6 (Wednesday, August 7, Philippine time).
Andray Blatche fired 25 points and Japeth Aguilar chalked up 22 points as the Filipinos took the Congolese to school and already looked secured of the victory even with a quarter to spare.
Congo was still within striking distance at halftime trailing 44-53 before the Philippines went on a 31-point third-quarter tear to pull away for good with an 84-60 lead, according to reports from Paolo del Rosario of SBP-CignalTV.
Mark Barroca added 16 points in the lopsided win.
Also in Spain are Gabe Norwood, Paul Lee, Poy Erram, Matthew Wright, Robert Bolick, CJ Perez, Beau Belga, and Kiefer Ravena. (READ: Gilas to miss almost half of 19-man pool for Spain camp)
The Spain camp serves as a part of the Philippines' preparations for the FIBA World Cup, where it will look to advance to the second round against Serbia, Italy, and Angola in Group D.
Congo, meanwhile, failed to punch a ticket to the global hoops showdown after being eliminated in the first round of the African Qualifiers.
Gilas will test its mettle against Ivory Coast, which is also a World Cup team, in another friendly match before heading to Malaga to face Congo again to start a pocket tournament. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.