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Gilas falls to Congo on pocket tournament opener

by Jim Lemuel Wilson, August 10, 2019 9:15am

Gilas Pilipinas ran out of steam in the second half and dropped a 71-82 decision against the Congolese national squad on Saturday (Philippine time) at the start of the Torneo de Malaga pocket tournament at the Palacio de Deportes Jose M. Martin Carpena in Spain.

The Philippine team got off to a good start, leading 29-20 at the end of the first quarter before settling for a 33-32 advantage at the half. Congo, however, took the upper hand in the third quarter and brought a 58-55 advantage into the final canto. They then caught fire from long range, allowing them to erect a 76-61 lead, to beat the Philippine side.

Ron Mvouika led Congo with 21 points on 4-of-4 shooting from three-point land while Ruphin Kayembe added 16 points for their squad.

Robert Bolick, meanwhile, had 21 points on 3-of-5 shooting from trey to lead Gilas against the 82nd-ranked team in the world. Big man Andray added 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals while CJ Perez chipped in 11 markers.

Gilas played with just a nine-man rotation and deputy coach Ryan Gregorio said that fatigue was a factor in the team’s loss. The Filipinos’ three-point game was also not on point as they shot just 8-of-26 from trey. They also had fewer assists, 14-20, and more turnovers, 18-14.

Gilas won their two tuneup matches prior to the start of the tournament, including a 102-80 domination of Congo.

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