GILAS Pilipinas closed out its seven-game tune-up in Lithuania on a losing note as Birstono Jazz-Diremta got back at the Nationals, 79-86, in their rematch Saturday night at the Svyrutio Arena in Klaipeda City, Lithuania.
The team sorely missed Fil-Am big guard Gabe Norwood, who had to fly back to Manila over the weekend to marry his long-time girl friend Lei Feranil.
Already missing Marc Pingris with a strained shoulder, the Nationals played out of sync against the tall Birstono squad, which they defeated 74-63 in their first meeting last week.
“1 guy short again today. Gabe flew out this morning for his wedding,” said Gilas assistant coach Josh Reyes on his Twitter account @josh_reyes.
“Weren't ready to play today.”
Birstono, which finished 14th spot in the 18-team bracket of the Lithuania national league, took a 36-30 lead at the half and managed to hold on for the win.
Gilas winds up its seven-game Lithuanian trip with a 5-2 record and is expected to arrive in Manila on Monday.
The Filipinos will continue their regular daily practice in Manila by next week before leaving on the first week of July for Las Vegas for another series of tune-up matches.