Import-less Gilas bows to Syrians in Dubai opener

Import-less Gilas bows to Syrians in Dubai openerSmart Gilas Pilipinas, putting a brave front, dropped 76-90 setbacks Friday at the start of the import-laced Dubai Invitational. Fortunately, naturalized player Jamal Sampson, a 6'11" former NBA veteran, was not there, giving Pilipinas a good opportunity to tap, at the Al-Ahli Sports Complex in the midst of applause of strong gathering of Filipino.

Fil-Am Marcio Lassiter, Mac Baracael, Japeth Aguilar and Jason Ballesteros tried to pose a stiff competition but the day was for the player who foiled all attempts due to his excellent performance.

RP's Serbian coach Rajko Toroman said, "It's always very difficult for us to play this game because all these teams, they have three Americans. We played without Sampson and it shocked us in the beginning. This competition, if we play without a big guy, we will not do too much."

Toroman said that Sampson's injury had have impact over the game and made its difficult during the starting of game. Bernie Atienza, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Deputy Executive Director hoped that Sampson would perform well against Champville of Lebanon Saturday after his medical examination.

Atienza added, "Officially, we'll have to verify tomorrow (Saturday). We're still hoping he (Sampson) could play tomorrow and the rest of the games here."