GILAS Pilipinas bowed to Netherlands, 89-62, for a rough start to its Toyota Four Nations Cup campaign on Thursday night at the Saku Suurhall Arena in Talinn, Estonia.
The Filipino dribblers, playing their first tournament game in their buildup for the Fiba Asia Championship next month, failed to build on their early gains as they let the unranked Dutch pull away in the second half of the opener of the three-day pocket tournament.
The beginning of the end was in the third quarter where the Tab Baldwin-coach national side was held to just four points while giving up 29 after trailing by just a solitary point at halftime.
The nationals also couldn't get going from the outside, making just four of 23 three-point shots.
Calvin Abueva flashed his usual energy and hustle to register a team-high 12 points to go with six rebounds for Gilas, which plays the host nation next on early Saturday.
With only 12 players allowed to play, Baldwin sat Dondon Hontiveros and JC Intal, as well as injured Ranidel de Ocampo and backup Moalaa Tautuaa.
Naturalized player Andray Blatche had seven points and 12 rebounds for the Philippines, which also got eight boards from Asi Taulava and eight points from Jayson Castro.