Pro-stocked Smart Gilas II squad opens Jones Cup bid Aug. 18By Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Smart Gilas II program anchored on millionaire PBA pros gets its first taste of high-caliber competition starting Aug. 18 when it takes part in the 34th staging of the prestigious William Jones Cup in Taipei.
Coached by Chot Reyes, the Filipinos get going against rock-solid Jordan at 5 p.m. at the Taipei Physical Education College gym as they try to start developing cohesiveness for a bigger event ahead.
Team Philippines has won the event twice, the first with a team reinforced by three naturalized players and handled by the great Ron Jacobs in 1985 and the last in 1998 by the Asian Games-bound Centennial team coached by Tim Cone.
Marcus Douthit is the only naturalized player in the current roster and he leads a scrappy bunch of PBA superstars who will also carry the country’s colors in the Fiba-Asia qualifying for the World Championship in Japan in September.
After the Jordanians, the Filipinos battle Taipei-B on Aug. 19 before taking their only rest day in the tournament.
Tournament format calls for a single-round affair with the country with the most wins automatically winning the championship.
Taipei is fielding two teams, with its Team A slated as Team Philippines’ assignment on Aug. 25.