Kobe Paras sparked the comeback, while Kiefer Ravena applied the finishing touches, as the SEA Games-bound Gilas Pilipinas staved off the gutsy Adamson University Soaring Falcons in a friendly, 82-77, Tuesday morning at the Meralco Gym in Pasig.
Gilas is now 3-0 in its tune-ups, with Adamson serving as its toughest opponent yet, as the team experienced trailing most of the time — far from its first outings against the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles and the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.
“I didn’t like what I saw at the start,” stated coach Jong Uichico, as he saw his wards get behind by as much as 11, 21-10, in the first quarter. “But as the game progressed, they were able to do what had to be done.”
Paras led the Nationals’ comeback midway into the final frame, serving as the catalyst of a 9-0 run, where he scored five and dished out a key assist to Raymar Jose for a lay-up that gave Gilas a 68-64 lead with 4:14 on the clock.
Ravena then took over moments later, as he nailed two cold-blooded triples within the match’s final two minutes, with his second one from the top of the key giving the national squad a 78-74 cushion with 1:25 remaining.
The Soaring Falcons still managed to punch in buckets, but they gassed out in the closing seconds. Perfect charities from Ray Parks, Jr. and Troy Rosario’s split freebies with 17 ticks left to play were enough to seal the win.
Gilas will play the National University Bulldogs tomorrow, Wednesday, August 16, 10:00 AM, still at the same facility.