<Gilas Pilipinas dropped its second straight game in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain as they lost to Greece, 82-70.
The Filipinos hung tough throughout the game against a highly-ranked Greek team but they just could not put together one definitive run to storm back into the ball game.
Georgios Printezis led Greece with 25 points and eight rebounds. Center Giannis Bourousis added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Greece is fifth in the FIBA rankings while the Philippines is at 34th. The Greeks towered over the Philippines with a five-inch height advantage. They used this to the hilt as they had four more rebounds and six more blocks against the Philippines.
Gilas Pilipinas was again led by Andray Blatche who limped his way to 21 points and 14 rebounds. June Mar Fajardo was a revelation against Greece as he chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds in only 10 minutes on the floor.
Like in their game against Croatia, Gilas started flat in the first quarter. Greece built an 11-point lead at 18-7 with a minute left in the opening period but Jayson Castro quickly brought it back down to eight as he nailed a looping triple with the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo guarding him.
Nikos Zisis scored his seventh and eighth points of the first to give Greece a 20-10 advantage after the first ten minutes.
The Greeks tried to shake of the Filipinos early in the second quarter but Fajardo kept them close as he scored the first six points for Gilas. A tip-in from the PBA MVP cut the Greek lead down to nine at 25-16.
The Greeks went into the half holding a 37-27 advantage.
Blatche led Gilas with six points and eight rebounds in the first 20 minutes. Fajardo also scored six while Norwood added five. Castro and Pingris chipped in three each.
The problem for Gilas in the first half was their outside shooting as they only made two triples out of 13 attempts with Jeff Chan going scoreless at halftime.
The Greeks started the third quarter with a 5-0 blast to seize a 42-27 lead. Castro replied with two free throws but Greece got two straight baskets from Printezis to build a 17-point advantage, 46-29.
Gilas settled down and got four straight free throws from Blatche, who was limping for most of the game with an injured knee. The naturalized Filipino then added a three-point play to bring the lead back down to 10 points at 46-36.
The Greeks brought their lead back up to 16 but a triple from Jimmy Alapag and a jumper from Blatche brought it back down to 11, 54-43.
Fajardo checked back into the game to give Blatche some rest and he immediately made an impact with two blocks and a layup to bring the Philippines closer at 58-45, heading into the final quarter.
Baskets from Chan and Pingris kept Gilas in the game early in the fourth quarter as they were only down 60-50 with eight minutes still remaining in the game.
The Greeks quickly put together five straight points to bring their lead up to 15. Blatche ended the run for a 65-52 tally for Greece with 6:23 left.
Chan and Lee put up hurried triples that were both blocked by the Greeks and converted to fast break baskets as their lead ballooned back to 17 at 71-54.
Gilas however had one last run in them as a triple by LA Tenorio and a tip-in by Japeth Aguilar cut the lead to 76-68 with 40 seconds left. But the Greeks held on to notch their second win in Group B following their 87-74 win over Senegal, tying Croatia for the group lead. The Croatians outlasted Argentina, 90-85. The Philippines fell to 0-2 in the company of Puerto Rico, which was stunned by Senegal earlier, 75-82.>