MANILA — Gilas Pilipinas struggled from the outside and as expected lost to fifth ranked Greece, 70-82, on Sunday (early Monday morning Manila time) in the ongoing 2014 FIBA World Cup preliminary rounds in Seville, Spain.
It was the Philippines’ second straight loss after a heart-breaking 78-81 loss to Croatia last Saturday night while Greece posted its second straight win after downing Senegal, 87-64, in the opener.
Capitalizing on their height advantage, the Greeks opened the game with 18-7 lead and kept the upper hand the rest of the way despite repeated efforts from the Filipinos to stage rally.
According to spin.ph report, the Philippines hit only 24 out of 68 attempts from the field and only six out of 22 tries from the three-point area.
Gilas’ main shooter Jeff Chan drilled in only one three-pointer out of five attempts while Andrei Blatche, who played with right knee injury, was scoreless out of three attempts from the arc.
Despite their loss, national coach Chot Reyes said: “I’m still very happy with the effort of my players.”
Blatche topscored with 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the Philippines while Junmar Fajarda had 10 points and six rebounds in just 10 minutes of play.
The Philippines, which returned to World Cup for the first time in 40 years, will face next yet another top seeded Argentina at 5:30 p.m. (11:30 p.m., Manila time) on Monday.
Formerly known as World Championship, FIBA World Cup is one of the biggest international competitions in the sport of basketball.
Taking place once every four years, the top basketball nations in the world have come together for the chance at winning the gold medal.
The victorious nation is also automatically qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics.