MANILA, Philippines — Kiefer Ravena dropped 22 points while Dwight Ramos sparked a late rally but Gilas Pilipinas still fell short to Korea, 92-96, in an international friendly on Friday at Anyang Gymnasium.
The Philippine men’s basketball team fought its way back from a 66-83 deficit as Ramos capped their late surge with a three-point play to trim the lead within five, 82-87, with 1:49 remaining.
But Heo Ung stopped the bleeding with a clutch triple to give the Koreans a 90-82 breather before Choi Jun-yong and Heo Hoon put on the finishing touches to escape the Filipinos in the first of their two exhibition games.
Ravena fired four triples, while Ramos finished with 16 points.
Besides the Japan B.League stars, Rhenz Abando also made an impressive Gilas debut with 11 points, while UAAP champion Carl Tamayo of University of the Philippines also scored 111.
National team coach Nenad Vucinic also drew quality minutes from Kevin Quiambao, RJ Abarrientos, and Lebron Lopez.
Gilas Pilipinas had a good start, building a 12-point lead in the second quarter, 43-31, and maintained a 10-point advantage at the half, 55-45.
The Koreans, however, dropped 37 points in the third quarter including a blistering 23-3 run to bring the momentum on their side playing in front of their ecstatic fans.
Gilas tries to bounce back in another friendly with the Koreans on Saturday as part of its preparation for the third window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
The Philippines played with a 10-man roster after naturalized center Ange Kouame suffered a knee injury.
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