GILAS Pilipinas opened the final phase of its Fiba World Cup preparation with a solid 89-58 demolition of the ACB All-Star Selection on Sunday in Vitoria, Spain.
The Nationals relied on their impeccable outside shooting, scorching the Spanish all-pro select team with 13 three-point shots on the way to a convincing victory.
“Well, the thing that I like most was the ball movement, the selflessness and the willingness to share the basketball. That was the key,” Gilas coach Chot Reyes said after the game.
Reyes said ACB Select have excellent individual players, but being a selection, they are merely getting a good “warmup” heading to the tougher games against the national squads from France, Australia and Ukraine this week in Antibes, France.
“They’re (ACB Select team) very good players individually, but they’re more of an ACB Selection, plus they missed two more of their big men,” he said.
“So for me, it’s taking a look at some combinations for the players, while for the players, it’s getting used to playing with Andray (Blatche),” he added.
“When we go to Antibes, we’ll be playing real tough teams, but this is a very good warm up for us,” said Reyes.
The Nationals were 2-0 in their tuneup matches in Miami, Florida last week after beating the Miami Pro-Am squad, 95-74 and Elev8, 93-84.
New naturalized center Blatche set the tone for Gilas by firing 15 of his 18 points in the first half as the Filipinos took a sizeable 50-31 lead at intermission.
Paul Lee added 10, while Jared Dillinger and LA Tenorio chipped in nine and seven, respectively.
Juancho Hernan Gomez led ACB Select with 12 points, while Alex Garcia added 11.