Chan, Norwood step up PH’s come-from-behind win over Japan in Jones CupBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines—’Rain or Shine connection’ down the stretch buoyed the Philippines to an 88-84 claw-from-behind victory over Japan Wednesday in the 2012 William Jones Cup.
Jeffrei Chan nailed a pivotal trey, fed Marcus Douthit for crucial two points, then iced the game with two freebies while Gabe Norwood knocked down a go-ahead three-pointer, all in the final four minutes where Smart Gilas wrestled the lead.
Norwood, who gave the Filipinos an 82-81 edge with two minutes to go, also plucked crucial boards that helped the Philippines get the stops for its fourth victory sans a loss in the tournament.
Chan, who, along with Norwood, was recently a champion in the PBA, secured his free throws with 20.6 left, which gave Japan virtually no chance to steal the game even with its deadly treys.
Douthit, as usual, delivered the bulk of the points but more importantly made them—including 3-of-4 free throws in crunchtime—when the squad needed him most.
The Philippines forged a tie with perennial Jones Cup titlist Iran, which it will face Friday, at No. 1.
Smart Gilas 2.0, whose roster is composed of pros, held the hot-shooting Japanese to just five markers in the final five minutes, which tilted the game to its favor after being down by as much as 13.
They seemed headed into trouble when they couldn’t seem to stop Japan’s scorers the entire third quarter.
But Gary David, who salvaged Gilas past South Korea Tuesday, started heating up and initiated the comeback, which Douthit, Chan and Norwood finished.