|Paul Lee fired it up from long range. SBP|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA—Gilas Pilipinas Men completed a sweep of a two-game friendly series against African squads after edging Ivory Coast, 94-83, in Guadalajara, Spain early Thursday (Philippine Time).
This time around, Gilas Men had to pull a comeback against Ivory Coast as they struggled in the first quarter but finished the game strong in a tuneup match pitting FIBA World Cup-bound teams.
Ivory Coast cruised to a 28-19 lead after the first 10 minutes, but Gilas Men slowly got back to their feet and completed the rally by holding Ivory Coast to just eight points in the final quarter.
Andray Blatche played the facilitator this time, dishing out seven assists on top of a team-high 18 points and 10 rebounds for Gilas Men, who will now travel to Malaga for a pocket tournament with Ivory Coast, Congo, and host country Spain.
Gilas Men will play Congo anew with the winner facing either Ivory Coast or Spain in the final.
Paul Lee added 16 points on 3-for-4 shooting from long range, Japeth Aguilar chipped in 12 points, three rebounds, and two blocks, and CJ Perez came up with 11 markers.
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