(UPDATE) GILAS Pilipinas trailed by a big margin, mounting a comeback before falling short to Estonia, 81-71, in its first tune-up match Tuesday night, June 28 (Manila time), at the Kalev Sports Hall in Tallinn.
Using the first of several scrimmage games as part of its build up for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, Gilas fell by as many as 22 points due to a maze of turnovers.
The Filipinos, who went down 0-9 to begin the match, still managed to fight back and came within 63-66 on June Mar Fajardo's pair of foul shots in the early stages of the final quarter.
Still, Estonia showed endgame poise en route to the victory.
“I was very impressed, considering that our bigs, it was June Mar's first game in six months, and some four months for Japeth,” Gilas coach Chot Reyes said in an interview posted at the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Facebook account.
“For us to continue to battle after being down by 20, we still showed [heart],” he added.
Justin Brownlee, playing as Gilas' naturalized player, sat out the final period due to cramps, according to Reyes.
PBA star Scottie Thompson also sat out the tune-up match due to back spasms.
Gilas is scheduled to take on Finland on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. local time (11 p.m. Manila time), also in Tallinn.
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