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Smart Gilas Pilipinas bows to Jordan for first loss in Jones Cup

/ 06:41 PM August 08, 2011

After a pair of impressive wins, Smart Gilas Pilipinas, this time, fell short against a tough Jordan team, 72-76, Monday in the 33rd William Jones Cup.

The Nationals, who pulled off a 73-59 stunner against Asian power Iran before thrashing Chinese Taipei, 90-78, Sunday night, had their fair share of opportunities to take the game but botched it with crucial turnovers.

Trailing by just two, 72-74 with under a minute left, swingman Marcio Lassiter got caught stepping out of bounds after receiving a pass from JV Casio that proved to be too costly for Smart Gilas.

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Sam Daghles finished with 16 points including two free throws that iced the game for Jordan, which remained unbeaten at 3-0.

Both teams struggled with their shots until the final stretch where the two squads engaged into a duel for a whirlwind finish.

Jordan posted its biggest lead of the game, 62-53, early in the fourth quarter with a 6-0 blitz capped by a Rasheim Wright breakaway slam off an errand pass.

But refusing to go down without a fight, Smart Gilas raced to an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to one, 61-62, at the 6:20 mark of the last period.

However, the Jordanians would again create separation off transition baskets as they turned missed triples from Lassiter and Mac Baracael into quick lay-ups at the other end.

Smart Gilas struck back and tied the knot at 66 off Baracael freebies after a Marcus Douthit three-point play.

The six-foot-11 Douthit though, was held to just 10 points after going off for 24 and 23 points in his previous games.

Casio tied the ball game anew at 69 with a catch and fire triple with 2:56 remaining after Jordan momentarily led courtesy of the first of two clutch long bombs from marksman Enver Soozokov.

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Soozokov’s second shot from downtown came at the 1:49 mark to give Jordan a 74-69 cushion–pouncing a rare five-second inbound violation from Lassiter.

The Nationals, who will face Malaysia in their next game before clashing with Korea on Wednesday, led by as much as five, 28-23.

Playmaker Mark Barroca led Smart Gilas with 13 points, 11 coming in the first period alone.

Chris Lutz and Baracael had 10 points apiece while skipper Chirs Tiu added eight.

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TAGS: Basketball, Chinese Taipei, Iran, Jordan, Smart Gilas Plipinas, Sports, William Jones Cup
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