THE Philippine team completed a sweep of their tune-up games with PBA ballclubs on Thursday night when the Gilas cadets defeated Blackwater, 78-70, at the Meralco Gym.
The Gilas cadets dominated the second half to beat an import-less Elite squad in the final stretch of their buildup for the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship next week in Singapore.
The Nationals earlier defeated GlobalPort, 74-68, last week - enough to convince head coach Tab Baldwin that they are ready for the April 27-May 1 showpiece
“We still have to improve but you go into this tune-up games with certain expectations and I think they exceeded my expectations,” said Baldwin.
“I was surprised with their cohesion and execution. We didn’t shoot well particularly in the first half but we created good shots. And our defense was outstanding,” Baldwin added.
Moments after the contest, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) chairman Ricky Vargas gave a pep talk to the players and staff who will be leaving for Singapore on Saturday.
Bobby Ray Parks and Troy Rosario led the Gilas cadets in the second half after Blackwater held several leads in the first two quarters. The Elite also led 33-32 at halftime.