Frontliners Andray Blatche and Japeth Aguilar took charge offensively and dropped 25 and 22, respectively, as the FIBA Basketball World Cup-preparing Pinoy cagers opened their Spanish sessions on a bright note.
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Blatche, Aguilar power Nationals over Congo side
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - August 8, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas’ training camp in Spain got off to a fiery start as the Nationals clobbered Congo in a tune-up game, 102-80, Tuesday night in Guadalajara.

Frontliners Andray Blatche and Japeth Aguilar took charge offensively and dropped 25 and 22, respectively, as the FIBA Basketball World Cup-preparing Pinoy cagers opened their Spanish sessions on a bright note.

“It’s a good sign but we don’t really want to put too much emphasis on that win,” Gilas coach Yeng Guiao said in a report on ESPN5.

“What we want to emphasize is to just keep working, grinding it out and focusing on execution,” he added.

With Blatche at work, the Filipinos seized control and raced to a 32-19 upperhand after the first period.

The Congolese went to within nine (44-53) at the break but Gilas pressed harder on the pedal after restart, unleashing a 31-15 exchange to widen the gap to 84-60.

Mark Barroca also finished in double figures with 16 while Matthew Wright and Gabe Norwood added eight apiece in the comprehensive victory that actually surprised Guiao.

“I’m actually pleasantly surprised. I know we have a really good team. The chemistry was really good, the cohesion was good. We shot the ball well,” said Guiao, who brought 11 players in this trip but used only 10 in this friendly, opting not to risk it with the still suspended Kiefer Ravena. 

“For a 40-minute game, to score 102 points against a national, I guess that shows that offensively the system is working,” Guiao noted.

Gilas hits the court again Thursday to play Ivory Coast in a similar tune-up game behind closed doors in Guadalajara.

BASKETBALL CONGO GILAS PILIPINAS SPAIN
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