Gilas five guns for semis today | Inquirer Sports

Gilas five guns for semis today

Battles lowly Al Jalaa of Syria; Toroman rues poor PH shooting
By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 12:01 AM June 03, 2011

MANILA—Smart Gilas Pilipinas, still unbeaten thanks to a scrambling effort Wednesday, shoots for a semifinal slot tonight against Al Jalaa of Syria in the Fiba Asia Champions Cup quarterfinals at the Philsports Arena.

As the top qualifier from Group A, the Nationals are highly favored in the 6 p.m. knockout clash with the Syrians, who finished last among four teams that advanced from Group B.

In the other quarterfinal pairings, Group B top qualifier Al Riyadi of Lebanon meets Group A No. 4 Duhok of Iraq at 2 p.m.


Two-time defending champion Mahram of Iran, the No. 2 qualifier in Group B,  faces Group A No. 3 Al Ittihad of Saudi Arabia at 4 p.m. while Qatar’s Al Rayyan tackles Applied Science University (ASU) of Jordan in the 8 o’clock nightcap.


If games go according to form, it will be Smart Gilas against Mahram and and Al Riyadi against ASU in the semifinals scheduled tomorrow. The winners then clash for the title on Sunday.
Smart Gilas has never made it past the quarters in the last two editions of this continental club championships and hopes are high the Nationals’ fortune is due for a change this time.

“We’re here on our turf. We draw inspiration from the crowd,” said Dondon Hontiveros, who fired six three-pointers and finished with 23 points in their 76-74 win over ASU as the Nationals completed a four-game sweep of their group the other night.

But PH five coach Rajko Toroman wasn’t happy with the Filipinos’ shooting against the Jordanians. The Nationals went 27 of 74 from the field (36 percent), including going 9 of 25 from way out.

“We cannot shoot like that tomorrow (tonight) if we want to be in the semifinals,” said Toroman, whose team had a light workout during yesterday’s break.

“They (Syrians) are a good team. They have good size with two Americans but we will not change our game plan of full-court pressure and pushing the ball with aggressiveness,” he added.

Toroman singled out former NBA veteran Samaki Walker and shooting guard Micheal Madanly as the key men for Jordan.


“We’ll assign people who could keep up with them,” said Toroman.

Marcus Douthit and Asi Taulava will alternate on the 6-foot-9 Walker while Mac Baracael, Marcio Lassiter and Chris Lutz will took turns hounding the sleek-shooting Madanly.

While the matchup in the backcourt for skipper Chris Tiu, Mark Barroca and JV Casio could be lighter against speedsters Sari Papazian and Rami Merjaneh, expect the shaded area to be crowded with Brazilian-Syrians Marcelle Yaqqub (6-9) and Eder Gorges (6-11).

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“Syria has the same quality with Jordan. We need a full gym on Friday (today) to help us get to the semifinals,” said Toroman.

TAGS: Basketball, Chris Tiu, Dondon Hontiveros, Fiba Asia Champions Cup, Gilas Pilipinas, JV Casio, Marcus Douthit, Mark Barroca, Rajko Toroman, Sports, Syria

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