The Gilas Pilipinas national team absorbed a humiliating 68-103 loss from the Turkish national squad in a tune-up game on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) held at the Abdi Ipekci Arena in Istanbul, Turkey.
The tune-up game was part of the team’s preparation for the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament set on July 5 to 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Filipinos put up a weak defense in the opening quarter allowing Turkey to post a 30-19 lead. The host country stretched their lead to 57-32 through impeccable shooting particularly in the three-point zone. Gilas failed to recover until the end of regulation.
Birzan Batuk led Turkey with 22 points highlighted by his 5-of-6 shooting in the three-point territory.
Naturalized Filipino center Andray Blatche posted 23 points, while point guard Jayson Castro added 13 points—all notched in the third period.
The two teams will meet in another exhibition game on July 1 in Manila, four days before the Olympic qualifying tournament.
After the friendly game in Istanbul, Gilas Pilipinas will fly next week to Bologna, Italy to play in a pocket tournament against China, Canada and Italy before returning to Manila on June 27.
The Philippines, Turkey, Canada, Senegal, France and New Zealand are in the same bracket at the Manila Olympic qualifying tournament.