MALAGA, Spain -- Gilas Pilipinas wrapped up their training camp in Spain with a 73-63 victory over the Ivory Coast in their final game of the Torneo de Malaga Jose M. Martin Carpena on Saturday. Robert Bolick starred for the Philippines with 19 points and seven boards, while Andray Blatche tacked on 18 and 18.
Looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss against Congo the day before, the Philippines went to work in the first two quarters and built a 39-29 edge at halftime. Gilas held on to a 52-42 cushion going into the payoff period, but faced stiff resistance from the African nation in the final 10 minutes.
The Philippines were threatened at the tail end of the fourth quarter, with the Ivory Coast pulling to within 68-63 with less than two minutes to play.
Fortunately for the Philippines, a pair of Blatche free throws and a Bolick three-point play were enough to secure the win and finish their training camp with a 3-1 record.
Ivory Coast forward Deon Thompson led all scorers with 20 points, while Guy Edi chipped in with 15.
After the game, national team rookie Bolick shared that coach Yeng Guiao's system gave him the opportunity to express himself to the fullest on the court.
"We're all comfortable because we are all given freedom within his system," Bolick said in a mix of English and Filipino. "It feels good to play because there is no pressure.
"He [Guiao] just said give me your best, so I thought to give my best and it was a great feeling."
Gilas return to the Philippines to continue their preparations for the FIBA World Cup on Monday.