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Gilas gains ‘taste of World Cup’ despite tune-up match defeat to Montenegro — Reyes
Gilas gains ‘taste of World Cup’ despite tune-up match defeat to Montenegro — Reyes
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Gilas gains ‘taste of World Cup’ despite tune-up match defeat to Montenegro — Reyes
by Mhillen Nicole Borja23 August 2023
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Photo courtesy: Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas - SBP

Despite Gilas Pilipinas' unfortunate outcome in their inaugural tune-up match against Montenegro on home soil, Head Coach Chot Reyes exclaimed that the team gained a valuable world cup insight following their encounter with a formidable opponent.

With a final score of 102-87, Montenegro asserted dominance over Gilas in the tune-up game last Sunday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Prior to this, the initial half of the contest was a tight affair, with the score reaching 44-42.

However, at the commencement of the second half, Chicago Bulls' prominent big man, Nikola Vucevic, unleashed a potent 3-point shot, followed by another 3-pointer from Nikola Ivanovic, culminating in an 8-0 advantage run for the foreign team.

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As the game progressed, Montenegro piled on the pressure, amplifying their lead to 20 points, setting the score at 90-70.

Leading Gilas was Utah Jazz's star player, Jordan Clarkson, contributing 27 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds, and a steal.

Alongside Clarkson, veteran June Mar Fajardo also shined for Gilas, scoring 19 points and snatching 3 rebounds.

However, others who took the court, including RR Pogoy, Calvin Oftana, Kiefer Ravena, CJ Perez, and big man Kai Sotto, failed to make a mark on the scoreboard.

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But for Coach Chot, this inaugural tune-up game offered them a "preview of the global competition."

"Well, first of all, like we talked about before the game, this game really made us feel that we're in the world cup. The kind of team we were playing [has] been a great team for a long time [with] great talent and their very smooth syste, offensively [and] defensively," stated Reyes.

Notwithstanding the defeat, the head coach of Gilas observed a remarkable display from his players.

"I like how we competed. We competed with them for the entire first half we just had let down defensively in that third quarter. Those are the thing that we try to play these games. for us to learn what we can improve of," he appended.

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The aforementioned tune-up match shall determine the final 12 who shall represent and compete in the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, set to commence on August 25.

Watch the full report here:

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