GILAS Pilipinas looked rejuvenated from its Tagaytay trip as it ripped Rain or Shine, 96-75, in their tune-up game on Thursday at the Hoops Center.
Fresh from a three-day training camp at a hotel resort in the breezy city south of Manila, the Filipino dribblers atoned for a five-point loss against Alab Pilipinas with a lopsided victory over a depleted Elasto Painters side.
June Mar Fajardo led a balanced attack for Gilas, which led by as many as 34 points.
All but Terrence Romeo showed up in the 15-man local lineup.
The near-full-strength Gilas was expected to pounce on an E-Painters squad that saw two standouts in Gabe Norwood and Raymond Almazan playing on the other side, James Yap, Jay Washington, and Jireh Ibanes still recovering from knee injuries, and Maverick Ahanmisi and Chris Tiu still abroad.
Troy Rosario showed the way with 17 points, while Norwood added 13 markers, as Fajardo held the fort and showed his touch from the perimeter as he was the other Gilas player who scored in twin digist with 10 points.
“First of all, I would like to thank coach Caloy and the rest of the Rain or Shine management for agreeing to play us even if they were shorthanded,” Gilas coach Chot Reyes said. “It was important for us to get some runs up and down against real competition.”
“I thought we played a little bit better, but we still turned the ball over too much for my liking,” he added. “It's obvious that were still not in basketball shape [but] I think we were in better basketball shape than the last tune-up against Alab, but like I said we still committed turnovers. We still have to continue working on our defense.”
GILAS (96) – Rosario 17, Norwood 13, Fajardo 10, Almazan 9, Aguilar 8, Wright 8, Castro 7, Ravena 7, Maliksi 7, Belo 3, Abueva Pogoy 2, Cruz 0, Alas 0
ROS (75) – Maiquez 14, Daquioag 13, Cruz 12, Belga 8, Nambatac 6, Trollano 5, Ponferrad 4, Borboran 2, King 2, Casiño 2, Matias 0
Quarterscores: 33-14, 56-42, 79-49, 96-75