“It was a well fought battle.”
The Philippine National Basketball team Gilas Pilipinas fell short of getting their first win in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.
In their first game Saturday August 30, Gilas was unsuccessful in beating the 16th-ranked Croatia, 81-78. But it was not an easy win for the Croatian team. Although Gilas trailed in the first half, they were able to take a good run in the second to give Croatia hard time to pull away. And in 4th quarter, Gilas tasted their first lead via a 3-pointer from Jeff Chan with more than 2 minutes to go.
The lead gave Gilas the momentum they need, which worked for them towards the end of the last quarter.Although Croatia was able to snatch the lead again 71-69 with less then a minute to go, a jump shot from Jason Castro tied the game 71-71 pushing Croatia to an overtime.
During the overtime, Gilas proved their didn’t only bring basketball skills to Spain but a big heart to bring Pinoy Pride back home. Gilas again manages to play a close game taking occasional leads and deadlocks. But Croatia manages to escape the big-hearted Gilas, taking game 1 with their 3-point lead at the end of the game, 81-78.
Top performers were Andray Blatche of Gilas with 28 points and B. Bogdanovic of Croatia with 26 points.
Gilas will play against Greece on their next game, September 1 2AM Manila Time (August 31 11PM in Spain).