GILAS Pilipinas bucked the cold climate as it reasserted its mastery over the Hawke's Bay Hawks 73-70 Saturday at the Pettigrew Green Arena in Napier, New Zealand.
National coach Chot Reyes described the game as physically played, but Gilas nonetheless managed to pull off its second straight win over the Kiwis.
"Struggled from the outside today, but found a way to eke out a 73-70 W in a defensively intense game. Learning from the physical Kiwi game," said Reyes in his twitter account @coachot.
Josh Reyes, one of the Gilas deputies, said the team had to play through a very cold weather.
"GilasPilipinas wins 73-70. Gotta adjust better to these cold gyms," said Gilas assistant coach Josh Reyes on his Twitter account @josh_reyes.
The national squad beat the Hawks, 82-78 on Friday, overcoming the Kiwi ball club of coach Tab Baldwin and featuring imports Kareem Johnson and Darko Cohadirevic.
Gilas shoots for a third straight win in its scheduled six-game tuneup matches in New Zealand when the national team faces the NBL All-Star selection Sunday.
The national squad then faces the Wellington Saints on Tuesday, the Auckland Rangers Wednesday before winding up their trip against the Tall Blacks (New Zealand national team) Thursday.
Reyes is hopeful that Gilas will get tougher through these games as they prepare for the Fiba-Asia men's championship set to start on Aug.1 in Manila.