MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE)—The Philippines men's national basketball team succumbed to Alab Pilipinas in their second tune-up game, 93-89, Monday at the Meralco Gym.
Gilas Pilipinas' fightback in the fourth quarter fell short, as they failed to build on a 98-95 win over the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) side in their first tune-up game last week.
NLEX guard Kiefer Ravena made his debut for the squad, while Ginebra’s Greg Slaughter and TNT’s Troy Rosario were both not in uniform.
"I don’t wanna make excuses, but I thought we played a little tired tonight. I didn’t think we had the energy that we had in the last game," said Gilas head coach Tim Cone after the game. "And they did some things to us that we weren’t prepared for."
The national team was within four points, 89-85, off a June Mar Fajardo bucket with still 1:23 left to play. But Gilas gave up a 3-pointer on the other end of the floor, allowing Alab to stay ahead.
A putback dunk by Japeth Aguilar off a missed Fajardo freebie with 20 seconds left made it a three-point game, 92-89, but Alab iced the game at the free throw line in their next possession.
Fajardo finished the game with 12 points, while Roger Pogoy had 14 points and Aguilar contributed 12 as well.
"The good news is we battled," said Cone. "We tried hard on defense although we were disorganized. Those are all the positives that we wanna move forward on."
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