Gilas frontline too much for Miami Pro-Am selection
By Alder Almo Updated Monday August 04, 2014 - 12:01am

June Mar Fajardo is all smiles while Andray Blatche listens to the coaching staff during their first meeting in Gilas Pilipinas US training camp in Miami, Florida. Blatche and Fajardo team up to lead Gilas to a big 95-74 win over Miami Pro-Am selection in their first tuneup game during the camp. Photo taken from #KuwentongGilas instagram

Gilas Pilipinas vs Miami Pro-Am selection highlights produced by Sports5's Kuwentong Gilas executive producer Michael Villar

MANILA, Philippines - Gilas Pilipinas showed a glimpse of what its new frontcourt would look like in Spain come the FIBA World Cup.

The trio of new naturalized 6-11 center Andray Blatche and his frontcourt mates 6-10 June Mar Fajardo and 6-9 Japeth Aguilar took turns in leading Gilas to a convincing 95-74 win over Miami Pro-Am selection in their first tuneup game in their US training camp in Miami, Florida last Saturday (Sunday Manila time).

Blatche felt at home with the Gilas' dribble drive offense early in the game as he wound up with 12 points and showed good passing skills often finding his open teammates. With Blatche proving a dominant force, Gilas established early control of the game with a four-point lead, 23-19, in the opening quarter.

Fajardo also shone showing remarkable improvement after a disappointing performance in the recent FIBA Asia Cup in Wuhan, China. The Cebuano big man scored 16 points with the bulk coming off in the second half where Gilas broke game wide open.  

Fajardo, the reigning PBA MVP, heeded to the coaching staff's advice to take it inside instead of just floating around the perimeter and it paid off quickly.

Aguilar, meanwhile, rattled in highlight dunks mostly from pick-and-rolls especially towards the endgame with Gabe Norwood joining him scoring on an emphatic putback slam that punctuated a show of might from the Phl national team preparing for its return to the world championships after 36 years of absence.

Talk n Text big man Rob Reyes, who is in vacation in the US, played for the Miami Pro-am selection and they were still in the game until Fajardo caught fire towards the end of the third quarter.

"I'm satisfied with the way we played tonight, gentlemen. But expect a tougher game tomorrow (Monday Manila time) against a team with three 6-10 players. [Tomorrow] will be the real test," Reyes told the team after the big win.

Next on deck for Gilas is team Elev8 Sports Institute which has four NBA D-League players in the roster. It will serve as the team's final practice before they fly to Spain and France for more games against tough European teams. 

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