GILAS Pilipinas showed it readiness for the Southeast Asian Games after whipping National University, 109-94, on Wednesday to complete a sweep of its tune-up games in preparation for the regional showpiece in Malaysia starting on Sunday.
The young Filipino dribblers, though, had to overcome another slow start, before picking up their bearings in the second half to pull away to their fourth straight win against the college teams they faced.
Kobe Paras led a balanced attack with 14 points in the second half, including a top-of-the key triple that gave Gilas its biggest lead at 91-73 with seven minutes to go in the game.
It was back-to-back wins for the Gilas cadets after they held off Adamson, 82-77, on Tuesday following a blowout win over Far Eastern University and a close victory against Ateneo last week.
Gilas coach Jong Uichico continued to see some improvement, but insisted the team can still work on how its opens games.
“Based on our tune-up games, yesterday against Adamson, we didn’t start out the way we should,” Uichico said. “In Ateneo, it was the almost the same; today’s the same.”
“It’s hard to make it as a habit that yeah, we can start out bad in the first quarter, but just as long as we finish strong, (it’s okay). There might not be a ‘finish strong’ if you don’t start out well,” he added ahead of their first game against Thailand.