GILAS Pilipinas dropped its second straight game in its New Zealand tune-up series, losing to the Wellington Saints, 96-100, on Tuesday at the Te Rauparaha Arena in Wellington.
The Saints relied on their imports Bryant Markson and Kareem Johnson, who repeatedly attacked Gilas’ defense as the national squad played without 6-10 naturalized player Marcus Douthit.
Douthit sat out the game against the Saints due to a bad back, leaving June Mar Fajardo, Marc Pingris and Japeth Aguilar to cover the shaded area.
“Lost,96-100. Couldn't stop Saints imports Kareem Johnson (30pts) & Bryant Markson (32pts) w/o @DouthitMarcus (bad back),” said national coach Chot Reyes on his Twitter account @coachot.
Gilas also dropped a wringer, 85-86, to New Zealand’s National Basketball League All-Stars on Sunday in Napier and now carries an even 2-2 card in its six-game series, the final buildup for its stint in the Fiba-Asia men's championships in Manila next month.
Gilas faces the Auckland Rangers on Wednesday before winding up its trip with a match against the Tall Blacks (New Zealand national team) Thursday.