Playing well-rounded on both ends, Gilas Pilipinas reigned triumphant in their second straight tune-up match, this time versus the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 95-66, Saturday afternoon at the Upper Deck Sports Center in Ortigas, Pasig City.
Saturday’s friendly was very different from the one Gilas had last Tuesday at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center in Katipunan, where they were challenged by the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles but still came out victorious, 86-79.
“We improved. Not necessarily because we won, but generally we improved,” lauded coach Jong Uichico. “We had more rhythm.”
Though Gilas displayed a balanced effort, it was forwards Kobe Paras and FEU alumnus Raymar Jose who impressed the most, as the two bigs helped pave the way for the national team to dismantle the younger Tamaraws.
The Nationals faced a tight FEU side early on, but it was a different scenario come the second canto as they pulled away wide and even led by as much as 21, 53-32, after Troy Rosario’s perfect charities with 42.1 ticks on the clock.
The national dribblers then sustained the favorable advantage all the way through. They even posted a lead as huge as 36, 93-57, after a Jose lay-up from underneath off a Von Pessumal drop pass with 4:31 left to play.
The Philippine team’s series of tune-ups will continue next week. They will face the Adamson University Soaring Falcons on Tuesday, and the National University Bulldogs on Wednesday. Both games are set at 10:00 AM at the Meralco Gym in Pasig.
Quarterscores: 26-24, 53-34, 76-52, 95-66.