Gilas Pilipinas suffers friendly match loss to Turkish national hoops team

Gilas couldn’t contain Turkey’s hot shooting during their loss (Turkey Basketball Federation)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team dropped their first international friendly match against Turkey, 84-73, on June 27, 2024, at the Akatlar Spor ve Kültür Kompleksi in Istanbul.

Facing the world no. 23 Turkish national squad was indeed a tough task to handle as the courageous Filipino hoopers fought with their all despite being banged up but still fell short in pulling off the win.

Fresh off a victory over the Taiwan Mustangs before kicking off their international camp preparation for the upcoming Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT), Gilas fought a more disciplined team and was playing catch-up for most of the game.

Unfortunately for Gilas, their three-point shooting took a major dip against Turkey as they only cashed in five shots from deep out of their 17 total attempts.

On the other hand, Turkey caught fire from the rainbow area and made 14 shots from the three-point line including several crucial bombs in the remaining three minutes of the game.

Tarik Biberovic, one of the main gunners of Turkey, put Gilas away for good after draining a clutch three-point shot that pushed their lead to eight points, 81-73.

Despite a cold shooting from deep, Gilas went toe-to-toe with Turkey in the first half and only trailed by a deuce, 42-40.

However, Turkey put out a much-needed offensive snowball in the second half and fished for fouls that forced Gilas’ head coach Tim Cone to go deep into his bench.

Kai Sotto, Gilas’ young center who is now a vital piece to Cone’s rotation, had to sit out of the game with two minutes remaining after fouling out.

Justin Brownlee paced Gilas in the loss after top-scoring his squad with 21 points while June Mar Fajardo posted a double-double performance of 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Meanwhile, Dwight Ramos, the team’s top-scorer against Taiwan, was only limited to just four points to go alongside eight rebounds and seven assists.


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