GILAS Pilipinas completed a two-game sweep of its tuneup with the Ukraine Under-20 team via an 84-74 verdict Sunday night in Kaunas, Lithuania.

Dialing it up after what coach Chot Reyes dubbed as their “worst game” in the 70-61 win the other night, the Justin Brownlee-led Nationals executed better and shot 53.8 percent from the field while holding the Ukrainians to a 40-percent clip.

The Pinoy cagers also outran the Ukrainian youngsters, scoring 13 fastbreak points versus the latter’s four.

Mr. Brownlee topscored with 21 points on an eight-of-13 marksmanship to go with eight rebounds as CJ Perez shot 14 and Dwight Ramos and June Mar Fajardo had nine apiece.

“We were able to defend their favorite sets a little better because we already knew what was coming. We were able to work on it in the shoot-around this morning and pinpoint the guys who we would stop,” Mr. Reyes said in a post-game video posted by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.

Mr. Reyes’ troops now have two wins out of four in their European trip so far. The Filipinos dropped their first two in the previous camp in the Estonian city of Tallinn, 71-81 to Estonia and 85-89 to Finland.

“Every game is a learning experience for us. We should be able to pick lessons and continuously move forward,” said Mr. Reyes, who has set two more friendlies in the next few days.

He admitted that shape-wise, team is still “a long way off” but is on track.

“We’re not programmed to be at the top level at this point. This is still part of the learning process, getting our feet under us,” he said.

“Overall, I think the four games we played here have delivered what we expected for us to be able to learn a lot about each other, what we need to work on and get us into competitive shape while we’re playing against quality competition.”

More than basketball, the matchups with the squad from conflict-hit Ukraine offered a better perspective on coping with adversity and being grateful for things. Mr. Reyes arranged for Leo Koshevatsky to share their experience with Gilas after the game.

“It’s important for us to get the perspective of somebody from a team that’s undergoing extreme adversity,” he said.

“For them (Ukrainians), the honor representing the country takes a different level than the honor that we feel representing the country and I think broadening your knowledge, widening your perspective, it’s part of the learning process.” — Olmin Leyba