Gilas Pilipinas scrapes past Taipei B for 2-1 record
(Taipei Peace Basketball Hall)
11 a.m. – Chinese Taipei B vs Iraq
1 p.m. – Gilas Pilipinas vs Japan
3 p.m. – India vs Iran
5 p.m. – South Korea vs Atletas All-Stars Lithuania
7 p.m. – Chinese Taipei A vs Canada 150
TAIPEI – Finding it hard to sustain the intensity after two straight emotional grinds, Gilas Pilipinas needed to dig deep in the endgame to dodge the upset axe, escaping Chinese Taipei B, 93-82, to keep rolling in the Jones Cup Invitational at Taipei Peace Basketball Hall here on Monday afternoon.
After going 1-1 in their first two games against much tougher teams that required nothing short of their best physically and emotionally, the Filipinos came out flat and gave the young Taiwanese the momentum early which made for a tight contest.
But when push came to shove, Gilas separated itself from the boys as Matthew Wright, Jio Jalalon and RR Pogoy took turns in hurting the young hosts and keeping them winless in three games.
“Every year that I come to the Jones Cup, my most feared game is (against Chinese Taipei’s) Team B,” coach Chot Reyes said after the rather close shave, which came less than 24 hours after Gilas bamboozled the regular Taiwanese National Team, 88-72.
“They play with a lot of energy and they have nothing to lose,” Reyes went on. “This is a game we always approach with a lot of caution and I told them to come out with maximum effort because they (Taiwanese) will play with maximum effort.”
The win enabled the Filipinos to stay in the title hunt despite losing big to Canada 150 on opening day, but Gilas cannot afford another loss and would have to get help from the other teams along the way.
Next up for the Filipinos is Japan at 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon even as the Canadians, who are getting better by the day here, shoot for a fourth straight win against Taiwan’s Team A in the 7 p.m. main game.
One path that Gilas could take to winning the title is, of course, to sweep its remaining games and hope that Taiwan’s Team A defeats Canada on Tuesday.
The 16-point win by the Filipinos on Sunday night would give Gilas the edge in case of a triple tie with Chinese Taipei A and the Canadians at the end of the elimination round, since Canada won by just 13.
Wright fired 21 points and led all Filipino shooters for the second straight game. He hit five triples Monday and tallied nine in total against the two Taiwanese teams.
“I’m just trying to do my job, and that is to make shots for this team,” Wright said.
Point guard Chun Chen-Ying had 17 points, five rebounds and five assists to pace Taiwan B, which actually outrebounded Gilas, 40-37, despite the Filipinos, for a change, looking to be the bigger team.
GILAS 93 – Wright 21, Pogoy 15, Myers 14, Jalalon 13, Ravena 10, Ferrer 8, Cruz 6, Standhardinger 6, Daquioag 0, Vosotros 0, Pessumal 0, Paras 0.
Taipei-White 82 – Chen Y.C. 17, Barone 16, Huang T.H. 13, Chen G.Q. 9, Lee 8, Chien 5, Wen 5, Huang H.H. 4, Liu 3, Fan 2, Wu 0.
Quarters: 18-20, 44-44, 69-62; 93-82.
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