PH holds off Taipei, faces Iran in semisBy Mark Giongco
It will only get tougher for the Nationals though, with powerhouse Iran next in line Friday in a much-anticipated semis clash.
The Philippines squandered a 14-point lead late after being held scoreless for more than three minutes.
Gary David nailed an open triple off a great ball movement that made it, 71-57, with 3:51 left.
The Nationals looked well on their way after that but it proved it was just calm before the storm as Taipei retaliated with a 9-0 run to pull to within five, 66-71, with still 1:52 left.
Marcus Douthit notched another double-double with 19 points and 18 rebounds to go along with four blocks while David added 14 points on four triples.
The Philippines’ sweet shooting turned sour but its defense held its ground led by newly-minted champion Gabe Norwood.
Norwood anchored a couple of defensive stops down the stretch with the last one resulting to a Jeffrei Chan layup that sealed the win.
Tenorio, who will now run the show for Ginebra in the upcoming 38th Season of the PBA, opened up the final frame with a three and a fearless drive to spark the Nationals’ surge.
Douglas Creighton led Taipei with 21 points, including a barrage of treys in the third period, but he ran out of steam when it mattered most scoring just one point in the last period.