Gilas five whips Uzbeks
Advances to knockout stage with Chinese tormentorsBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
TOKYO—Draining the outside shot for a change on a day it pulled most of its punches, Smart Gilas-Pilipinas still flashed sharp form in outclassing Uzbekistan Sunday afternoon.
Hitting 8-of-20 triples and shooting 46 percent from the two-point zone, the Filipinos proved too much for the Uzbeks in an 85-50 win that gave them the second Group A slot in the knockout stages of the Fiba Asia Cup at Ota Gym here.
Jeff Chan rifled in four of those eight treys and finished with 20 points in less than 18 minutes on the floor, and Jared Dillinger came off the bench to shoot 10 as the Philippines won a second straight game for a 2-1 card.
Chan played his worthiest offensive game in the tournament. After shooting just 1-of-11 from beyond trifectaville in the first two games, Chan hit three right in the first half before the Philippine defense did its damage on the Uzbeks.
Uzbekistan, a side which Smart Gilas coach Chot Reyes described as having just five worthy players, went scoreless for the first eight minutes of the second quarter as the Philippines opened up a 39-21 lead at the turn.
Reyes had the luxury of clearing his bench in the first two periods, with a platoon, five-man substitution late in the opening quarter starting the breakaway.
Everyone scored except Sonny Thoss, with Matt Ganuelas having some highlight reel plays, including a two-handed slam and a windmill, underhanded layup that whipped a large Filipino gallery into a frenzy.
“The important thing in this game is for us not to develop bad habits, Uzbekistan being a light foe,” Reyes said. “At the same time, we wanted to keep something from the scouts (of the other teams).
“We played defense the way we wanted, but we held something back offensively.”
Still, the Philippines yielded the least points by anyone in the three-day-old, 10-country event. Before the game, the fewest points scored by any national team was 51 by Macau, which lost by 69 points to Lebanon.
Marcus Douthit got some much-needed rest, playing just 14 minutes and shooting nine points. He is expected to play even less on Monday, when the Philippines closes out its preliminary round assignment against Macau.
Vyacheslav Denisov fired 16 points and Samender Juginisov scattered 12 for the Uzbeks.
Most of those in the second unit will get a lot of time against Macau before the team practices at 7 Monday night to be able to take the whole of Tuesday off.
The knockout stages, where the top seeds in each group clash with the No. 4s in the other bracket and No. 2 against No. 3, begin on Thursday.
PHILIPPINES 85—Chan 20, Dillinger 10, Douthit 9, Ganuelas 8, David 7, Fonacier 7, Reyes 7, Villanueva 6, De Ocampo 5, Norwood 4, Tenorio 2, Thoss 0.
UZBEKISTAN 50—Denisov 16, Juginisov 12, Kozlov 6, Yakhin 6, Rahimov 6, Tangrikulov 2, Nuraliev 2, Nabiev 0, Safarov 0, Timofeev 0, Kadirov 0.
Quarters: 23-16, 39-21, 63-33, 85-50