Many months have waited, at last it’s the FIBA 2016 Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Gilas Pilipinas first assignment is the world’s ranked 5, the “Les Blues” team.
Andray Blatche and the rest of Gilas Pilipinas squad were scorching hot in the first quarter as the Philippines National Men’s Basketball team shoot 50% from the floor. Gilas biggest lead in the ball-game was 10 but not after Tony Parker and Nando de Colo caught fire in the second quarter.
In 2:11 left in the second quarter, the San Antonio Spurs point guard have read the defense of Gilas and was able to hit a 3-point shot that cut the deficit to just one, 41-40.
Team Philippines continue to cool down in the second half but in the final few minutes of the fourth quarter, Jayson Castro and Terrence Romeo initiated a comeback as they pushed the score to 81-85. However, the well experienced team France was able to take control until the final horn.
Tony Parker and Nando de Colo led team France with 21 and 27 points respectively.
Naturalized Filipino, Andray Blatche led Gilas with his 21 points while Terrence Romeo and Jayson William logged a combined points of 33.
To boost the morale of the Philippines National Basketball team, the newly elected president was also present in the game as President Rodrigo Duterte leads the traditional ceremonial toss.
Next schedule for Gilas will be tomorrow against team New Zealand.
France (93) – De Colo 27, Parker 21, Tillie 10, Lauvergne 10, Diaw 9, Gelabale 8, Diot 4, Heurtel 2, Kahudi 2,
Philippines (84) – Blatche 21, Romeo 19, William 14, Chan 9, Rosario 6, Norwood 4, Parks 3, Reyes 3, De Ocampo 3, Pingris 2