PH bamboozles Iraq
TAIPEI – Gilas Pilipinas showed remarkable improvement on the thing it was miserable at just the day before, and the Filipinos learned precisely what Chot Reyes likes and what can set him off.
The Filipinos were respectable from three-point range – as what they are really capable of – and broke away early from Iran for an 84-75 victory which could have been a lot more one-sided had Reyes not disciplined some of his players during the very physical Jones Cup encounter at Taipei Peace Basketball Hall here.
Reyes ordered Christian Standhardinger back to the locker room with 4:55 left after his 6-foot-7 Fil-German center got slapped for a second technical foul, and Carl Cruz finished what had been a brilliant game on the bench after decking Iraq’s dirty-playing center early in the fourth.
Still, the Philippines bounced back from a lethargic shooting night that resulted in an 83-72 loss to South Korea on Wednesday night, connecting on a 7-for-21 clip against the Iraqis with Cruz, RR Pogoy and Matthew Wright hitting two apiece.
That put the Philippines at 4-2 and it stayed alive in the medal hunt after Canada 150 drubbed the Koreans, 98-72, earlier on Thursday for the solo lead at 5-1.
“That’s not the way we play Gilas basketball,” Reyes said after the game.
The Iraqis were downright dirty right from the start, and Reyes feels that that’s still not an excuse for his players losing their heads in a critical juncture of the contest.
“I don’t care if we lost the game, I told them that in the huddle,” Reyes said. “That’s not the way we play basketball. I will not tolerate that.”
Cruz played almost 20 minutes and finished with 10 points in his worthiest game, but after decking Navid Khajehzadeh with an elbow to the back of the head in one defensive play, Reyes promptly called it a night for the former Far Eastern ace.
Standhardinger, meanwhile, got into a trash talking match with 7-foot center Karrar Hamzah early and clearly lost focus in the second half.
After the Filipinos had opened up a 73-58 lead with a Mike Myers basket, a TV timeout was called and Standhardinger was whistled for his second deliberate foul when he hit Dhulfiqar Al-hchaimi.
It wasn’t enough that he was tossed out of the contest by the referees as Reyes sent him to the locker room.
Iraq is bracketed with the Philippines in the Fiba-Asia in Lebanon from August 8-20, and Reyes admitted that, while they learned something from facing the Iraqis, he also exposed some of their strengths.
“It’s going to help us down the line. But in as much as it is going to help us, it is going to help them as well,” Reyes said.
GILAS PILIPINAS 84 – Myers 16, Ravena 13, Pogoy 12, Cruz 10, Jalalon 10, Wright 8, Standhardinger 4, Jose 4, Ferrer 3, Paras 2, Parks 2.
IRAQ 75 – Mayfield 29, Al-hchaimi 17, Abdullah 8, Khajehzadeh 7, Ismael 4, Hameed 4, Alazawi 3, Aljuboori 3, Al-tameemi 0, Talib 0, Hamzah 0.
Quartes: 15-19, 36-22, 63-49, 84-75.
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