Gilas Pilipinas played its last tune-up game in their preparation for the upcoming FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament which is scheduled here in the Philippines.
Gilas Pilipinas tackled the Turkey Men’s Basketball national team led by Omer Asik who is currently part NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans line-up.
It was in third quarter where the Turkish national team demonstrated why they are in the top 10 of the FIBA rankings. The final score PHL 76 TUR 84 after these two teams faced-off at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday.
These two teams are both scheduled to compete in the six-team FIBA OQT which will happen in the same venue and will start on July 5. Both teams will not see each other in the first round until they make it to the semis.
Turkey staged a 16-0 run across the second and third quarters to establish a 50-33 lead after Ali Muhammed drilled a triple at the 8:38 mark of the penultimate period.
Gilas Pilipinas cut the lead down to five, 58-53, with its own scoring blitz, 20-8, until the late moments of the third but failed to snatch the victory away.
But there was a concern sprung during the last quarter of the ball-game when Andray Blatche was seen limping after a collision with a Turkish defender. He requested to be pulled-out but returned back in action in the last and final minute of the game. The naturalized Filipino finished with 20 points and seven rebounds.
Terrence Romeo the spark of the fourth quarter when the Gilas tries a comeback chipped in with 16 points while Gabe Norwood and Jayson Castro made 10 and 13 points, respectively.
Ali Muhammed who only stands at 5’10 paved the way for the Turkish nationals with his 16-points performance.
Omer Asik the starting center of Pelicans scored 13 points and grabbed 5 rebounds while the 2008 60th second-rounder draft pick Semih Erden logged 13 points and 6 rebounds.