The Gilas Pilipinas suffered their back-to-back losses in New Zealand, this time without the service of Marcus Douthit who was out with a bad back. The Philippine National Basketball Team dropped a 100-96 results to the Wellington Saints on Tuesday at the Rauparaha Arena.
The Filipinos fell prey to the Saint’s pair of import Bryant Markson and Kareem Johnson who scored 32 and 30 points, respectively during the game. The Philippines started strong by leading 10 points at 30-20 after the end of the first quarter. The team was also in control at 92-86, with 4:08 remaining in the game but they could not sustain their momentum.
The Philippines suffered with their dismal performance in the remaining few minutes of the game as the two imports of Wellington Saints teamed up with a 12-0 run, although the Pinoys pushed closer with Gary David’s four-point play, 98-96, with 28 seconds left. Gilas sent Markson to the line where he splits his free throws, but Ranidel de Ocampo failed to score in the ensuring play, allowing the Saints to escape with a narrow victory.
Without Marcus Douthit, the Gilas was led by Gabe Norwood who scored with 13 points, David added with 12 points, Jeff Chan and Jimmy Alapag contributed with 11 points apiece. Gilas big men, Fajardo, Aguilar and Pingris held their own before they were fouled out.
The Gilas Pilipinas will try to bounce back on Wednesday when they travel to Auckland to take on the South City Rangers, before wrapping up its New Zealand tour on Thursday with a showdown with the Tall Blacks national team.
Wellington Saints – Markson 32, Johnson 30, Trousdell 11, Ekenasio 9, Te Huna 8, Mills 5, O’Riley 3, Boucher 2, Groom 0, Thompson 0, Webb 0.
Philippines – Norwood 13, David 12, Alapag 11, Chan 11, De Ocampo 9, Tenorio 9, Castro 8, Aguilar 7, Fajardo 6, Fonacier 5, Belga 4, Pingris 1.
Quarters: 20-30, 48-52, 72-76, 100-96.