April 23, 2024

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Gilas Pilipinas Ends European Training Camp On High Note

4 min read

Gilas Pilipinas, the Philippine national basketball team, concluded its European training camp with an impressive 125-102 victory over a Lithuanian squad set to compete in the 2023 Summer Universiade. 

The game marked the team’s final tune-up match before the upcoming FIBA World Cup.

Taking control of the game in the third quarter, Gilas Pilipinas outscored their opponents 37-10, turning a two-point halftime deficit into a commanding 98-73 lead entering the fourth quarter. 

Leading the charge was June Mar Fajardo, the six-time PBA MVP, who delivered a stellar performance in the team’s last game of their European trip.

Fajardo, who had recently returned from a knee injury, showcased his dominance by contributing a game-high 28 points, four rebounds and two steals.

He shot an impressive 7-of-9 from the field and made all but one of his 15 free throws. Fajardo’s remarkable performance played a significant role in the Philippines’ decisive victory, ending their European campaign with a 3-3 record.

Joining Fajardo in the scoring column were several other Gilas Pilipinas players who excelled in the game. Justin Brownlee, a naturalized player, contributed 24 points, eight rebounds, five assists, four steals, and two blocks. Kiefer Ravena provided 18 points and six rebounds, while CJ Perez and Rhenz Abando added 14 and 12 points, respectively. Jamie Malonzo chipped in with 11 points and nine rebounds.

The third quarter proved pivotal for Gilas Pilipinas, as Justin Brownlee took charge, scoring 11 of his 24 points during that period. The team’s impressive offensive display and the stout defense allowed them to outscore the Lithuanian Universiade squad by an astounding 27 points in the third quarter alone.

Despite missing several key players, such as Scottie Thompson, Dwight Ramos, and AJ Edu, Gilas Pilipinas displayed remarkable depth and resilience, with their remaining players stepping up and delivering solid performances.

On the Lithuanian side, Arnas Berucka led his team with 15 points, while Dominykas Stenionis and Ernestas Sederevicius contributed 14 points each.

The victory against the Lithuanian squad capped off Gilas Pilipinas’ three-week training camp in Europe, providing valuable preparation for the upcoming FIBA World Cup, which will be held in Manila, Japan, and Indonesia.

The Philippine national team faced initial challenges in their first two tune-up games against Estonia and Finland. However, their visit to Kaunas proved fruitful, as they secured back-to-back wins against the Ukraine Under-20 team and a Lithuanian selection team.

With their European training camp now concluded, Gilas Pilipinas returns to the Philippines, eager to continue their preparations and build upon their recent success as they aim for a strong showing in the upcoming FIBA World Cup.

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