Philippine Men’s national basketball team again lost to towering and swift Turkey team in the second Tune-Up match 84-76, ahead of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament in Manila on Friday, July 1, started at Mall of Asia Arena.
Last week Gilas lost to Turkey in Istanbul by 35 points, however they displayed a better performance this time in their final tune-up when lost only by 8 points in spite of remaining behind by 17 at one point in third round. In the first half, Gilas were ahead of Turks by 6, 25-19. Although Gilas look terribly undersized compared to Turks, they never gave up. Filipinos fought had from 33-50 down just before two minutes gone in the third period and tiptoed to within 5 points that impressed the crowd, but failed to snatch the victory.
We didn’t see Filipino shaking even after center Andray Blatche limped off the floor favouring his left ankle when 4.43 was remaining and Turkey was already leading 74-68. Turkey shot 45% on the field and out-rebounded Gilas 43-33, while Filipino men shot 42% of their try and notably when only 15 out of 24 from the foul line.
Andray Blatche led Gilas with 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Terrence Romeo, Troy Rosario and Ray Parks gave full support in the third quarter fightback that gave team Turkey a tough fight. Terrance Romeo gave 8 consecutive points and finished with 16 points coming off the bench in the second half. While, Castro contributed 13, Norwood gave 13 shot, Parks managed 6 and Rosario hit 4 in the clash.
Muhammad Ali massively led Turkey with 16 points, Guler and Erden shot 13 and 12 respectively, while Mahmutoglu and Asik scored 8 and 5.
Tune-up matches are over and The Olympic Qualifiers will begin on 5th July Tuesday, Philippines will face France. Gilas may face Turkey again in the tournament if both teams could reach the Final Four.