Chot’s squad dedicates win to mourning PinoysBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
TAIPEI—Gary David, aside from being the runaway scoring champion in the last Philippine Basketball Association season, is also the runaway jokester in the Smart Gilas-Pilipinas team seeing action at the 34th Williams Jones Cup here.
While rookies Garvo Lanete, Jay-R Reyes and Matt Rosser are being asked to take care of the team’s dirty uniforms after each practice and game, David—who finished with an average of close to 26 points a game for Powerade—is in charge of telling the jokes.
David does so in the bus on the way to the venue and back to the hotel, where he looks like the veritable travel guide, cracking jokes—most of them so green they can’t see print—using a microphone.
His English is so effective that one of the players who laugh hardest is naturalized center Marcus Douthit.
* * *
The United States team seeing action in this tournament does not even come close to the A-team of Americans that recently copped the gold medal over Spain in the London Olympics.
USA Basketball did not have a part in forming this team; the agents of the players who made the trip to this city were responsible for putting them together.
“Most of them don’t have jobs, that’s why this is a showcase for them,” said Douthit, who once played for a similar team. “That’s why they play hard.”
And a showcase it is—at least for a 5-foot-9 guard with the name of James Justice who owns an unbelievable 52-inch vertical leap and whose antics are actually on YouTube.
Unknown to many, Justice was a former NCAA slam dunk champion.
On Tuesday against Taipei-B, Justice strung up three dunks, one of them over a young 6-foot-10 Taiwanese center whose jump could only take him as far as the forearm of the soaring American.
And while the Taiwanese love their national teams, the crowd that saw all of those dunks gave Justice a huge ovation at the sound of the buzzer, never mind the 116-71 walloping the home team got.