Gilas Pilipinas center, Andray Blatche, soars over four Argentinian players in their group B match at the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball in Sevilla, Spain on Monday. The Philippines lost another close match with an 85-81 squeaker to world number three Argentina. Photo by Pierre-Philippe Marcou, AFP
The coach of Argentina's national basketball team praised Gilas Pilipinas after they pushed his players to the brink even as he admitted that the Filipinos' style of basketball is "very strange."
"Gilas plays a very strange style of basketball that we have never seen before," Argentina coach Julio Lamas said after Argentina escaped with an 85-81 win over the Philippines.
"But they play it at full potential, and I have much respect for them," he added.
Gilas shocked Argentina with a fast start to the first quarter, highlighted by Gabe Norwood's posterization of Luis Scola late in the frame.
"In the first quarter, they made us look like fools," admitted Lamas.
The veteran Argentinian squad got its bearings, however, and overcame a double-digit second quarter deficit by hitting its three-pointers.
They looked to be cruising to a comfortable victory after taking a 15-point lead in the third period, only to see the Filipinos roar back in the game thanks to a barrage of three-pointers from Jimmy Alapag.
In the end, however, the Argentines held on to win the game that was far too close for comfort for the third-ranked team in the world.
It was a game that Lamas and the Argentine team won't soon forget.
"This is the most uncomfortable game that I had to coach in my life," Lamas said. -- From a report by TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News