Gilas Pilipinas bucked another slow start to repeat over Lithuania's 20-and-under national team, 88-84, in their friendly game Thursday night for its second back-to-back victories at the Svyturio Arena in Klaipeda City, Lithuania.
Trailing the Lithuanians by 10 points, 25-10, early in the game, the Nationals buckled down to serious work in the second frame to seize the initiative which they held on to post their fourth win in five games.
Gilas coach Chot Reyes is hoping the win which they fashioned out minus forward Marc Pingris will give them an extra boost in time for their rematch with against LSU-Baltie today.
LSU is the same team which handed the Nationals a stinging 89-86 defeat last week.
Reyes posted on his Twitter account @coachot that Pingris did not play because of a shoulder injury.
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"Repeated over 20-under Lithuanian NT in a physically intense match, 84-88," said Reyes, as the Nationals defeated the 20-under team of Lithuania last Sunday, 83-75. "Rested Ping who's nursing a strained shoulder. 7 TOs only."
The national team's two other wins were against Klaipedos Neptunas - the fourth-ranked team in the Lithuanian league - 81-76, and Birstono Jazz-Diremta, 74-63.
In his own Twitter account, Gilas Pilipinas assistant coach Josh Reyes said that their opponent had a "strong and spirited" first half after the 20-under team - training for various international tournaments - was criticized by the local media following their loss to the Nationals.
"They are pressured to win as their media criticized them for losing to us. They brought in their top guard," Reyes, son of Chot Reyes, posted on @josh_reyes. "Strong and spirited start by LTu20."
"Good thing we managed to adjust and get the win. Still lots to improve on! Gotta keep on getting better!"