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Hard-fighting Gilas drops final assignment to Iceland



Gilas Pilipinas failed to sustain a strong third quarter rally as it dropped its final assignment after struggling in the end game to Iceland, 76-86 Sunday in the Toyota Four Nation Cup tournament in Estonia.

Down by double-digits in the second quarter, the Philippines went on a blistering 23-2 run bridging the middle quarters as it transformed a 28-43 deficit into a 51-45 cushion.

Part of the ferocious rally was a 10-0 run by Terrence Romeo himself including two triples to close the second quarter on a strong note. Andray Blatche then opened the third peiod with back to back baskets even as Jayson Castro provided damage to help Gilas erect a 6-point lead.

But just when the nationals thought momentum was on their side, Iceland restored order behind three baskets by Martin Hermansson to make it 66-56 for Iceland early in the fourth.

Helgi Magnusson then captured fire as he poured 10 points in a stretch that brought Iceland’s lead to 76-64.

An and-one play by Blatche followed by a jumper from Castro pulled Gilas within 73-78 under the final two minutes but an offensive foul by Sonny Thoss proved to be the difference as it led to a triple on the other side.

Blatche paced the Philippines with 22 points and 5 rebounds while Romeo chipped in 17 points.

Gilas may have walked away winless but will be taking along a lot of lessons as they move on to the Jones Cup in Taiwan which starts next week.

The Scores:
Gilas Pilipinas (76) – Blatche 22, Romeo 17, Castro 11, David 6, Intal 5, Hontiveros 5, Tautuaa 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Thoss 2, Norwood 1, Ramos 0, Rosario 0.

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