GILAS Pilipinas may have let one get away against France in their FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament game Tuesday night.
But the team's gallant stand against the star-studded Les Bleus in a 93-84 loss only serves as added motivation heading to a potential knockout match against New Zealand on Wednesday night for a semifinal betrh in Group B.
Veteran Ranidel de Ocampo said it was good to see the Filipinos putting up a good fight despite losing in the end, a positive they could bring to their 9 p.m. encounter against the Tall Blacks.
“Siyempre iba pa rin yung maglalaro ka ng maganda before the next game,” said De Ocampo, who had three points and two rebounds in his 15-minute stint against the French.
“So I think magandang boost ito (against New Zealand).”
For Gilas to have a good shot against the Tall Blacks, the team needs to cut down on its turnovers after committing 18 against France.
“For tomorrow’s (today) game, we have to take care of the ball,” said Jayson Castro, twice named best point guard of Asia who had his hands full trying to keep in step with four-time NBA champion Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs.
Castro said failing to take care of the ball hastened Gilas’ downfall.
“In the middle of the second quarter, we lost our composure and we started to turn the ball over,” he stressed. “Our game plan worked, but all of a sudden nawala yung composure namin.
"We couldn’t execute our plays especially in the halfcourt.”