Smart Gilas beat San Diego 94-93 on a killer three-pointer by Andy Mark Barroca with 4.3 seconds left in the exhibition game. Barroca is celebrating his birthday today. The nationals led by as much as 12 points but a series of turnovers helped the home team come back. Greg Slaughter had 13 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots.
Smart Gilas 94 - Barroca 21, Baracael 17, Lassiter 14, Slaughter 13, Aguilar 10, Ballesteros 5, Jazul 5, Cawaling 5, Ababou 4, Tiu 0
San Diego 93 - Vaughn 22, Koferty 19, Hall 18, Clark G. 15, Clark J. 9, Hunds 6, Bruner 3, Ryan 2, Parselany 0, Watson 0
Smart Gilas' American tour was made possible by Smart Sports, Nike, and GMA-7.
Notes: The whole team of Gilas left for the US. That includes Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Rey Guevarra who are back from the injury list. Rey's first official game back was against Sta. Lucia. A scrimmage they won. He's feeling some stiffness but he should get back in the swing of things. I dropped by their last weights session before they left and I caught up with Dylan, Mark, Jim, RJ, and Rey. Some like RJ have nagging injuries. But these guys are troopers.
Just because Chris didn't score don't think that he doesn't bring anything on the table for this team. Remember, he is this team's toughest player. And he contributes to the hustle board.
Japeth is an enigma here. They like his potential and his hops but he needs to be mentally tougher. I guess that's because in the US, although he was penciled in as a center, he fell in love with the outside shot. Rajko Toroman would love him to be more inside the lane to free up the outside shooters.
There's a concern how Rabeh will hold up since he's pretty much missed all the international competitions that is crucial for growth and experience. But he's gotten bigger and stronger. In the meantime, in terms of skills and strength (thanks to Jimbo), Greg, Jason, and Mark are plenty awesome. Whatta improvement!
From the current pool, only 12 will make the trip to Doha for the FIBA Champions Cup. The rest will stay.
Are things peachy keen with Gilas? Er, not yet. But let make take this opportunity to welcome back Butch Antonio as Team Manager. He will rejoin the team in Doha.
And Bernie Atienza... you'll love my piece on Letran in the next issue of Rebound. And there's one on Smart Gilas -- as a team of college stars. I wish I still had some of my stuff on the team's early days. I lost it during Ondoy. That's got video, pics, and interviews when they first began.