Cagayan de Oro’s JR Cawaling fired 19 points, including three triples, while Mark Barroca and Japeth Aguilar each had 12 points to power Smart Gilas Pilipinas to a 78-67 victory over a young Australian U-19 National Team in an exhibition game in Canberra, Australia Monday.

The Nationals trailed majority of the match but struck back behind a solid defensive game and the clutch shooting by Cawaling in the final quarter.

Smart Gilas, still in search of a naturalized player, finished with 16 assists against the Aussies’ 13, had more steals, 9-5, and made less turnovers, 12-22. Despite their size, the Filipinos had more blocks, 9-8.

The Nationals, who trailed by three points at the start of the final period, shot better from the field, making 30 of their 67 shots for 45 percent and draining half of their 18 three-point attempts.

The Australia swing is part of Smart Gilas’ preparation for this year’s Guangzhou Asian Games as well as the 2011 FIBA-Asia Championship.

The scores:

Smart Gilas 78 – Cawaling 19, Barroca 12, Aguilar 12, Tiu 8, Baracael 7, Slaughter 6, Ababou 5, Jazul 5, Ballesteros 4

Australia U-19 67 – Hadziomerovic 12, Sinclair 11, Wroe 10, Drmic 9, Aldrige 6, Trist 6, Creek 5, Fenton 4, McCarron 2, Barry 2

Quarterscores: 20-20; 34-36; 53-55; 78-67

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