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(C) Turkey Basketball Federation

2024 Summer Olympics

Gilas Men struggle with Turkey’s three-point shooting in close defeat

Gilas Pilipinas Men fell short in a friendly match against Turkey, 84-73, as the squad continued their preparations for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Friday morning (Manila time) at Akatlar Spor ve Kültür Kompleksi in Istanbul.

Justin Brownlee paced the Philippine side with 21 points and was backed up by June Mar Fajardo, who posted a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

No other Gilas player scored in double figures, with youngsters Carl Tamayo and Kai Sotto chipping in seven points apiece.

Dwight Ramos, who has been given a bigger responsibility in setting up the offense, had a good all-around performance with eight rebounds and seven assists, although he struggled with his scoring, contributing only four points.

EuroLeague veteran and 2023 NBA draftee Tarik Biberovic led Turkey with 23 points on 5 of 9 shooting from three-point range.

The home team was in control for much of the game, but Gilas kept battling back. Turkey only led 42-40 at the half.

The Philippine side couldn’t turn the game around as they kept sending their opponents to the free throw line. Turkey made 18 of 22 free throws, with Fajardo and Sotto combining for nine personal fouls. Gilas, on the other hand, only had seven free throw attempts.

The biggest problem for the Tim Cone-led squad was the three-point shooting of Turkey, as they went 14 of 41 from downtown.

This included a dagger triple from Biberovic to increase their lead to eight points, 81-73, in the closing minutes of the match.

“It was a tough loss against Turkey. We had our first taste of the type of opposition we will be facing in the OQT,” said Gilas team manager Richard Del Rosario.

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“While others may see it as a satisfying first game, our team mindset is that almost is not enough. We only have one shot at making it to the Olympics and we cannot be satisfied with almost winning. We move on to the next game with a firmer belief that we can hold our own against higher-ranked teams with a real chance of reaching our mission of making it to Paris,” he added.

Next up for Gilas is another tune-up match against a fellow OQT-bound team, Poland, this Saturday.

The Scores:

Turkey 84 Biberovic 23, Korkmaz 12, Sipahi 9, Sanli 9, Osmani 8, Özdemiroğlu 7, Haltali 6, Kabaca 3, Yilmaz 3, Bas 2, Yasar 2, Ilyasoglu 0, Ulubay 0.

Philippines 61 – Brownlee 21, Fajardo 17, Sotto 7, Tamayo 7, Newsome 5, Ramos 3, Aguilar 4, Oftana 3, Perez 3, Quiambao 2, Amos 0.

Quarterscores: 24-21, 42-40, 64-56, 84-73.

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