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Gilas falls short of comeback anew, drops close friendly to Finland

Scottie Thompson fired two late triples against Finland, but it was already too late for Gilas. Kennelf Monteza (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Gilas Pilipinas could not finish another comeback attempt and fell short to Finland, 85-89, in their second tune-up game ahead of the FIBA World Cup early Thursday (Philippine Time) at the Kalevi Sports Hall in Tallinn, Estonia.

Gilas once again succumbed to a slow start, but this time they found themselves in the thick of things earlier.

Still, Finland showed why it's 16 places above Gilas in the FIBA rankings despite fielding mainly its second team in the friendly.

Gilas found itself in early trouble as Finland raced to a 26-11 lead at the end of the first quarter, but they opened the second with a 20-5 run to tie the game at 31-all midway through the period.

The Finnish squad regained its poise later in the second and kept Gilas at bay from there.

Scottie Thompson, making a return after sitting out Gilas' loss to Estonia due to back spasms, made back-to-back triples, but it was already too late for the Filipinos to close out their Finnish foes.

Miro Little led Finland with 19 points, five rebounds, two assists, and four steals, while Jacob Grandison added 18 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block.

Dwight Ramos put up 15 points, three rebounds, one steal, and two blocks for Gilas, who finished their campaign in the tri-nation pocket tournament winless in two tries.

Rhenz Abando and Thirdy Ravena each tallied eight points on similar 3-for-3 field goal clips off the bench.

Box Scores:

Finland 89-Little 19, Grandison 18, Blomgren 10, Tumba 8, Nyman 8, Luukkonen 6, Tainamo 5, Vaara 4, Nikkainen 4, Kaukiainen 3, Mantynen 2, Murphy 2, Tahvanainen 0

Philippines 85-Ramos 15, Brownlee 11, Thompson 10, Fajardo 10, Perez 8, Abando 8, T. Ravena 8, Aguilar 6, Malonzo 5, Newsome 4, K. Ravena 0, Erram 0

Quarterscores: 26-11, 51-42, 68-60, 89-85

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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