Gilas’ strong start not enough in Fiba World Cup tuneup loss to Montenegro

Gilas Pilipinas Montenegro Fiba World Cup tuneup

Gilas Pilipinas and Montenegro during a Fiba World Cup exhibition game just days before the global showcase tips off in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. SBP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Gilas Pilipinas found Montenegro too tough to handle on Sunday.

Led by NBA star Nikola Vucevic of the Chicago Bulls, Montenegro pulled away in the second half en route to a 102-87 win over the Philippines in a Fiba World Cup tuneup at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

Vucevic posted 18 points, 11 coming in the pivotal third quarter where Monetenego took control after a closely-contested first half.

Despite the loss, Gilas put up a commendable fight, especially at the onset where the Nationals zoomed to a 19-11 lead late in the first quarter behind the efforts of Jordan Clarkson and Dwight Ramos.

“I was surprised na dumikit tayo nang ganon (that we’re able to go toe-to-toe with them),” said Gilas coach Chot Reyes. “Ang lakas nang team na kinalaban natin (We faced a really strong team).”

Gilas Pilipinas Fiba World Cup

Gilas Pilipinas vs Ivory Coast in a tune-up match ahead of the Fiba World Cup.

Clarkson finished with a game-high 27 points. June Mar Fajardo added 19 despite being in foul trouble early while Ramos chipped in 13.

The Utah Jazz guard went 9-of-9 from the free throw line and dished out five assists but turned the ball over eight times.

Gilas, which clobbered Ivory Coast in an exhibition on Friday, plays its final exhibition game against Mexico later at 8 p.m.

The Philippines is in Group A along with the Dominican Republic, Italy and Angola.

Gilas begins its Fiba World Cup campaign on Friday, 8 p.m., against the Karl-Anthony Towns-led Dominicans at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

Aside from Vucevic, Montenegro also drew big contributions from Bojan Dubljevic and naturalized player Kendrick
Perry, who had 16 and 15 points, respectively.

Montenegro shot 10-of-24 from long distance while Gilas went 5-of-15.


Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.

Your subscription has been successful.

Read Next

Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.