MANILA, Philippines -- Smart Gilas Pilipinas lost to Asian basketball powerhouse China in FIBA Asia Championship in Wuhan, China.
The scores were 75-60 in favor of the taller Chinese team.
Despite lagging behind by as much as 26 points in the first half, the Nationals exerted great effort in the next 2 quarters to chop China's lead down to 15 points.
Jianlian Yi led China with 20 points and 17 rebs.
Zhizhi Wang added 16 while Fangyu Zhu chipped in 13.
Naturalized citizen Marcus Douthit had 17 points against China.
He also banged bodies against his Chinese counterparts to secure 10 rebounds.
Chris Tiu was the only other Gilas player who registered a double-digit output. He scored 12 points.
China team coach Bob Donewald admitted that they had to address the Filipino team's agility.
"We had to cut down their speed,” he said in FIBA.com.
Gilas coach Rajko Toroman said China is always a tough team to beat because of its height advantage.
“Playing a team like China who are obviously bigger in size is always tough,” he said.
The Philippine team will next face Bahrain.