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Gilas Pilipinas waylaid by Netherlands in Estonia pocket tourney opener



Gilas Pilipinas failed to sustain a strong start in the first half and eventually succumbed to the Netherlands, 62-89 in its opener in the four-nation pocket tournament in Estonia.

Gilas was outscored 29-4 in the third period where Holland pulled away and buried the nationals for good.

Jumpers by Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Jayson Castro gave the Philippines its biggest lead at 31-23 halfway in the second quarter, but the Netherlands fought back and led by 1 at the half, 39-38.

The offense then stagnated for Gilas, which shot brick after brick to open the penultimate quarter as the Netherlands went on a 13-0 blast capped by 5 straight points from Henk Norel.

A triple by Castro ended the drought as Gilas trailed 41-52, but another Holland rally highlighted by outside bombs made it 68-42 after the third.

Baskets by Calvin Abueva early in the fourth pulled Gilas to within 69-51 but it was the closest the Asian squad could get as they struggled to put away Holland.

Abueva had 12 points to pace the nationals while Castro and Terrence Romeo chipped in 8 points each. Andray Blatche hauled down 12 rebounds as Gilas was not badly out-rebounded, 35-37.

The team however, shot a woeful 4-for-23 from three-point area.

JC Intal, Dondon Hontiveros, Ranidel de Ocampo and Moala Tautuaa were all nursing injuries and did not participate in the opener.

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