CJ Perez and Robert Bolick were two of the few bright spots in Gilas Pilipinas’ lopsided defeat against Italy on Saturday in the Fiba Basketball World Cup in Foshan, China.
Perez had 15 points, while Bolick had six points for Gilas Pilipinas in their first-ever match in the World Cup as the national squad suffered a 108-62 defeat against Italy.
If there was something Filipino fans can cheer about, it was the play of the two rookies.
With Italy imposing its will in the first half, Perez played quality minutes by hitting back-to-back lay-ups late in the second quarter, one off an Italy turnover.
Perez ended up tying Andray Blatche with 15 points including one of only three triples by Gilas Pilipinas in the match. Perez also scored the final layup of the match for Gilas Pilipinas.
Bolick, meanwhile, made things happen for Gilas Pilipinas in the third quarter by earning two trips to the line and hitting all four of his free throws.
“If there’s any positive from this game, it’s that our young guys played hard. CJ played his heart out, same with Robert Bolick and Kiefer (Ravena). So that’s something positive we can pick up from a game like this,” said coach Yeng Guiao.
Perez and Bolick even played late in the game with the latter diving for a steal attempt.