Gilas Pilipinas suffered a 96-92 set back against rival South Korea in the first of their 2 tune-up games in the KB Kookmin Bank Invitational on Friday night.
The Filipinos staged a comeback late in the fourth quarter, pulling to within 87-82 after a running layup by SJ Belangel and a 3-point play by Dwight Ramos.
But the South Koreans, who led by as much as 17 points, managed to hold on and outlasted Gilas.
Kiefer Ravena had 22 points, including four treys, while Ramos tallied 16 markers. Rhenz Abando and Carl Tamayo added 11 each.
The two squads will meet again on Saturday.
The tune-up games are part of the nationals' preparations for the third window of the FIBA World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers.