Banking on big plays from Andray Blatche down the stretch, Gilas prevailed over visiting Australian club Adelaide 36ers, 92-83, to make it 1-0 in their two-game series last night at Meralco Gym.
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Nationals subdue Adelaide 36ers
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - August 24, 2019 - 12:00am

World Cup Warmup

MANILA, Philippines — As expected, the Aussies pushed Gilas Pilipinas to the limit, but the home boys proved up to the challenge.

Banking on big plays from Andray Blatche down the stretch, Gilas prevailed over visiting Australian club Adelaide 36ers, 92-83, to make it 1-0 in their two-game series last night at Meralco Gym.

Blatche dished off four assists to RR Pogoy and CJ Perez in a crucial 10-0 blast in the last three minutes to complete the morale-boosting win a week before their opening match in the FIBA World Cup.

The naturalized center posted a near triple double output of 19 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists as big man Japeth Aguilar (17), Perez (12), Pogoy (10) and Paul Lee (10) helped out offensively.

Gilas tries to complete a sweep in Sunday’s second match.

Meanwhile, Gilas Pilipinas’ three-month buildup for next week’s FIBA World Cup also stands to benefit the Philippine team to the Southeast Asian Games as holdovers from the 15-man pool are expected to be tapped for the biennial meet on home ground.

According to Gilas coach Yeng Guiao, at least three from the WC pool will likely suit up in the SEAG, where host Phl is the overwhelming favorite to dominate anew.

“We’ll name the Final 12 for the World Cup on Monday and the three who will be cut, I will make sure they will have a slot in the SEA Games. That’s the only thing I can guarantee at this point,” Guiao said.

Gilas and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will have to fill up the SEAG team by Sept. 2, the deadline for the submission of entries by name for all participants in the cagefest, which will be held Dec. 4-10 at the MOA Arena.

“Internally, we have discussed the possible players in the (SEAG) list but not thoroughly yet. Maybe we’ll do so while we’re in China after we’ve completed our Final 12 for the World Cup. Let’s form this team first (World Cup) before thinking about forming another,” he said.

Guiao and the Nationals are in the homestretch of their preparations for the world meet in Foshan.

The Pinoy cagers are aiming to toughen up further ahead of their opening match on Aug. 31 against Italy with two friendlies versus visiting Australian club Adelaide 36ers. They were scheduled to play the Joey Wright-mentored 36ers last night with a second leg set Sunday.

PBA NOTES: NorthPort continues to soup up its roster as it acquired guard Jerramy King and big man Russel Escoto in a trade with Columbian Dyip. The Batang Pier tabbed King and Escoto in exchange for playmaker Juami Tiongzon and bigs Lervin Flores and Joseph Gabayni.

ADELAIDE 36ERS BASKETBALL FIBA WORLD CUP GILAS PILIPINAS
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