The Philippine Men’s National Basketball Team repeats over Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in their last game at the Torneo de Malaga.
Gilas Pilipinas came away with the 73-63 victory in their second meeting with the Ivorians to wrap up their training camp in Spain with three wins and one loss.
National team rookie guard Robert Bolick led the way with an almost flawless game after scoring 19 points and seven rebounds on 4-for-5 shooting from the field and 8-for-8 from the free throw line, while naturalized center Andray Blatche came out with another double-double performance after scoring 18 points to go with 18 boards.
Just one day ago, the team suffered an 81-72 defeat at the hands of the Congo National Team, missing a meeting with hosts Spain in the championship game. Regarded as the second best basketball team in the world behind the USA, the Spanish squad won handily over the Congolese in the Final game of the tournament, 79-62.
The World Number 82 Congolese squad will not be taking part in the upcoming World Cup in China, 64th ranked Ivorians had been drawn with China into Group A in the upcoming World Cup.
Prior to the pocket tournament, the Filipinos were able to pull out double-digit wins in back-to-back friendlies against both African squads just days before in Guadalajara.
Nearly half of the players selected by head coach Joseller ‘Yeng’ Guiao to be included in the selection pool had missed the Spain trip, including June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Christian Standhardinger, Troy Rosario, and Roger Pogoy, who are all currently seeing action in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Finals back in Manila.
Gilas Pilipinas will fly back home to Manila to continue preparations for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, including hosting the Adelaide 36ers of the Australian National Basketball League (NBL) in a series of closed-door practice games on August 23 and 25.
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