MANILA, Philippines - The exhibition matches leading up to the 2014 FIBA World Cup continue to sing a sour tune for the Philippine national basketball team.
Gilas Pilipinas suffered their fourth straight tune-up loss, 75-66, against Euskadi, the Basque national basketball team, and in the process also saw star point guard Jayson Castro leave the game after hurting his ankle, on Tuesday evening (Wednesday morning PH time) in San Sebastian, Spain.
It was another disappointing loss for Gilas, which went 0-3 against France, Australia, and Ukraine in the 2014 Antibes Tournament.
Spin.ph reports that Castro will undergo an MRI on Wednesday to assess the severity of the injury. Castro was one of the 12 players selected for the final roster in the World Cup, which opens August 30.
Castro was one of the Philippines' primary threats in the FIBA Asia Championship last year, earning him inclusion to the tournament's Mythical Team.
Basque led 43-24 at halftime but managed to cut the lead to 6, 64-58, late in the fourth before Basque closed the game out.
Naturalized big man Andray Blatche led the way for Gilas, scoring 19 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. Marc Pingris also had a productive game, putting up 10 and 9.
Jimmy Alapag finished with 9 markers, while Gabe Norwood and LA Tenorio combined for 14.
Gilas is rated number 34 in the world by FIBA while Basque is unrated.
The national team will be back in action to take on Angola on Thursday (Friday morning PH time).
PHI 66: Blatche 19, Pingris 10, Alapag 9, Norwood 7, Tenorio 7, David 4, Dillinger, Chan 2, Castro 2, De Ocampo 2, Aguilar 0, Fajardo 0.
BAS 75 : Kortaberria 14, De la Fuente 12, Arruti 10, Otegi 9, Uriz 8, Lasa 8, Zubizarreta 7, Brizuela 5, Olaizola 2, Bilbao 0, Aramburu 0, Calbarro 0.