GILAS Pilipinas rallied from a six-point deficit in the final minute and held Mighty Sports to a draw, 85-85, in their tune-up game on Monday night at the Meralco gym.
Back-to-back treys by Marcio Lassiter and CJ Perez erased a 79-85 Gilas deficit inside the last 56 seconds to cap the national team's comeback in its first tune-up game in its buildup for the 2019 Fiba World Cup.
Zachary Moore then missed a potential game-winning basket at the buzzer for Mighty Sports, which is preparing for the Jones Cup in Taipei.
"The guys really showed a good effort and I'm happy with the result. This is a really good quality team," said Gilas coach Yeng Guiao after the game.
"Encouraging naman yung resulta."
Gilas Pilipinas trailed by as many as 23-13 early in the first half, but came back strong in the third period to take a 60-59 lead heading into the final 10 minutes,
But outside snipings by Mighty Sports enabled it to regain the upperhand as Aaron Black and Michael Williams each hit a three that made it a six-point lead for the team.
Gilas Pilipinas however, wouldn't go down without a fight.
Lassiter fired one from downtown coming off a timeout with 56 seconds left, and following a Mighty Sports miss, the Filipinos sued for another timeout to design a game-tying trey.
Gilas Pilipinas executed the play well enough to leave Roger Pogoy wide-open at the top, only for the TnT Katropa gunner to miss the shot.
But the national team got the offensive rebound, moved the ball well, and found Perez at the corner for the game-tying three-pointer with 14 seconds to go.
"As confused as they sometimes get, because they were really good, they were able to salvage the situation even when the play is bad," said Guiao.
"We just lead off our natural chemistry and it's really nice to look at. Nobody was really trying to dominate the game, the ball was moving around, they showed good effort on defense. We haven't really practiced defense the past few days that we practiced, but with the stack knowledge that they have, we can still improved on a lot of departments."
The national team coach was also grateful to Mighty Sports in helping Gilas Pilipinas play a competitive tune-up with barely two months left before its World Cup campaign in China.
"This is really a good practice, a good exercise for us," said Guiao. "I would like to thank Mighty for giving us a really good tune-up today."