GILAS Pilipinas got off to a slow start, falling behind by a huge margin early but managed to fight valiantly before bowing to a selection team from Lithuania, 90-80, in a tune-up match in Kausas, Lithuania.
The Filipinos gave up 36 points in the opening period as they trailed by 17.
Lithuanian forward Tomas Zdanavicius proved to be the thorn on Gilas’ side as he went perfect from three-point zone with his 6-of-6 shooting clip in the opening half en route to a 20-point first-half explosion. The Lithuania Selection squad took a 56-45 halftime advantage.
Gilas shot just 39.7 percent from the floor and got outrebounded, 46-39, as Lithuanian League Most Valuable Player Vytautas Šulskis scored 19 points and collaring nine boards.
Zdanavicius, the 6-foot-8 forward, led the Lithuanian Selection with 25 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while Justinas Ramanauskas flirted with a double-double with 12 points and nine assists, along with three boards. Rokas Pocius chipped in 10 and nine boards for the host team, which suited up just eight players.
Naturalized player Justin Brownlee led Gilas with 20 points and seven rebounds, Jamie Malonzo added 14 and nine rebounds, while June Mar Fajardo and Kiefer Ravena were the only other double-figure scorers with 13 and 10.
Ange Kouame played his first game for Gilas since attending his college graduation from Ateneo last June 30. He contributed four points in just over six minutes of play.
“We tried a different lineup this time, different combinations. We tried to start Justin at the three spot, we tried to start Japeth at the fourth spot, he’s been playing five the past few games. But now that we have Ange here, we wanted to play Japeth a little bit more at four. But obviously, it didn’t work,” said GIlas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes.
Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net