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