TAIPEI – Gilas Pilipinas made a quick turnaround from a sloppy performance against Canada the previous night, playing with tremendous grit and guts in stunning the home team Taipei A, 88-72, in the 39th Jones Cup at the Taipei Heping Basketball Hall here Sunday.
The whole team dished out an admirable job, beating Quincy Davis and his teammates practically on all fronts for the morale-boosting triumph cheered on by hundreds of Filipino fans in the stands.
“Coming to this ball game, all we wanted was to make sure we improve from last night,” said Gilas coach Chot Reyes.
“We focused on two things. I told them we have to take good shots, and it means shooting the ball and not turning the ball over. The second objective was to make sure we defend better so as not to give up free throws,” Reyes added.
Doing just that, Gilas pulled the rug from under the Taipei squad riding the crest of a title run in the recent East Asia Basketball Association championship versus China, Korea and Japan.
The previous night, the Taiwanese drubbed the Japanese, 86-65.
“We just wanna come out and made up for the game against Canada. We took care of the ball and played better defense,” said Matthew Wright, among those who stood out in their 16-point conquest of the home team.
Fil-German center/forward Christian Standhardinger and guard Kiefer Ravena were the two others that really sparkled 24 hours after their 77-90 loss to Canada.
Standhardinger came up with 17 points and 15 rebounds in an electrifying double-double performance, Wright pumped in four triples and a total of 17 markers while Ravena sizzled with 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
Ravena provided the early spark, and knocked in a big trey then a driving layup just when the Taiwanese were threatening to mount a rally entering the homestretch.
Ravena, Carl Bryan Cruz, RR Pogoy, Mac Belo and Mike Myers got the team to a good start, and the second unit sustained the momentum as they showed what they can do in a few weeks of practice. (From PBA.com)
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