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Gilas camp ends with a win


‘We take a lot of things to Ginebra and bring them to Gilas. Of course, Coach Tim’s stuff is always good for our team.’

GILAS Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes gives instructions during their exhibition match against the Lithuania Universiade squad in Kaunas. | Photograph courtesy of SBP

Gilas Pilipinas wrapped up its European training camp with an emphatic, 125-102, clobbering of Lithuania Universiade in a tune-up match Saturday in Kaunas, Lithuania.

June Mar Fajardo muscled his way to 28 points and grabbed four rebounds to pace five other Gilas players who finished in double figures.

The towering San Miguel Beer center made a killing at the free throw line as he drained 14 of his 15 attempts and only missed twice from his nine field goal tries.

Naturalized player Justin Brownlee had 24 points, Kiefer Ravena tallied 15 markers, CJ Perez posted 14 while Rhenz Abando and Jamie Malonzo chipped in 12 and 11, respectively, in Gilas’ final friendly as part of their preparation for the FIBA Basketball World Cup that the country will host from 25 August to 10 September.

The Filipinos clamped down on defense in the second half as they limited the stunned Lithuanians to just 10 points while torching the host team with 37 for a 98-73 advantage heading into the payoff period. It was more of the same for Gilas in the fourth quarter.

Gilas will head home on Tuesday (Manila time).

The respite, however, will be brief as they have to resume their training in preparation for another pocket tournament in China where they will face top Asian teams.

But the schedule is still subject to change, Gilas coach Chot Reyes said.

Jamie Malonzo, meanwhile, said they are getting better, especially after bringing the kind of mentality they have at Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the PBA.

After all, some of his Ginebra teammates are also in the pool like Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, Brownlee and assistant coach Tim Cone.

“We brought that Ginebra mentality, so when Coach Tim said defense, we knew what kind of defense he was referring to,” Malonzo said.

“We take a lot of things to Ginebra and bring them to Gilas. Of course, Coach Tim’s stuff is always good for our team.”

Having Malonzo at Gilas brought back memories of Gabe Norwood.

“Guys like him paved the way for me,” said Malonzo, who, just like Norwood, had been providing highlight reels for the Filipinos during the previous window tournaments.

“I truly hope that I will be able to fill in those shoes, wisely and greatly.”

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