A vastly improved Gilas Pilipinas made a late scare before surrendering a 90-80 decision against Estonia in the Toyota Four Nations Cup early Saturday at the Saku Suurhall Arena in Talinn.
The Filipino dribblers fell into a huge hole early as they failed to find an answer to the hosts’ torrid shooting on the way to their second straight loss in the three-day pocket tournament.
Still, the result was an improvement after the national side opened its campaign with an 89-62 loss against Netherlands on Thursday night.
Naturalized player Andray Blatche paced Gilas with 16 points, Jayson Castro added 12, while Terrence Romeo chipped in 10 markers, including a three-pointer that nudged the Nationals to within 86-77 with a little over two minutes to go.
It was the closest Gilas Pilipinas got after trailing by as many as 23 points in the first half.
Calvin Abueva, who made the starting five after leading the team in scoring against the Dutch, fouled out early after picking up his fifth foul halfway through the third quarter.
Gilas coach Tab Baldwin activated JC Intal and Moala Tautaa, while sitting out Gary David, Aldrech Ramos, Jimmy Alapag, and injured Ranidel de Ocampo.