BATANG Gilas coach Jamike Jarin lauded Batang Gilas for its effort although the Philippines for the second straight time failed to come up with a win in the Fiba U17 World Championship.
Greece came up with an 85-65 win Saturday night at the Al Shabab Arena in Dubai, their first in the tournament, while keeping the Philippines winless in two outings.
“I like the way we fought tonight. That’s the team I’ve known,” said Jarin.
“I think this team is better than the team you saw last night.”
The Philippines bowed to a much taller Angolan side in the opener, then failed to neutralize the outside shooting of the Greeks.
“They came in a lot stronger (in the third). They flexed their muscles and used their height,” said Jarin.
The Filipinos were able to contain the 7-foot-1 Giorgios Papagiannis, projected as a future star in Europe, from asserting himself in the paint but found Thanasis Ntouzidis, Antonis Koniaris and Pefanis too tough to handle.
“We simply enjoyed the game. We connected more, the body language was better, the confidence was better and we played tougher defense,” said Jarin.
Jolo Mendoza fired nine of his 19 points in the first quarter while Nieto added 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Filipinos, take a break Sunday and resume their bid with a game against the United States on Monday.
The two-time champion Americans picked up their second straight win with a 99-56 demolition of Angola, which tied the Greeks at 1-1.