by Jonas Terrado
Gilas Pilipinas expressed satisfaction with its performance despite lack of practices after salvaging an 85-all tie against Mighty Sports in Monday’s tune-up game at the Meralco Gym.
Marcio Lassiter and CJ Perez hit back-to-back threes in the final minute as Gilas avoided defeat against the Mighty Sports side in thick of preparation for William Jones Cup in Taiwan which starts later this week.
“I didn’t expect really much,” said coach Yeng Guiao. “But the guys really showed good effort and I’m happy with the result.”
The national cagers have been settling on holding twice-a-week practices this month with the players mostly concentrating on the ongoing PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The scrimmage served as much-needed importance for Gilas which won’t be playing another exhibition games until early-August when it heads to Spain for a pocket tournament against the host country, Congo and Ivory Coast.
Lassiter, Perez, Mark Barroca, Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar and Roger Pogoy saw significant playing time as Guiao was looking to find some possible combinations ahead of the World Cup in China.
Mighty Sports, with ex-Gilas mentor Rajko Toroman calling the shots in the absence of coach Charles Tiu, was led by former PBA imports Renaldo Balkman, Eugene Phelps and Hamady N’diaye and Fil-Americans Mikey Williams, Jeremiah Gray and Roosevelt Adams.