By WAYLON GALVEZ
Games Today (Taipei Peace Basketball Gymnasium)
11 a.m. – Lithuania vs Japan
1 p.m. – Iraq vs Canada
3 p.m. – Philippines vs Taiwan-White
5 p.m. – Iran vs South Korea
7 p.m. – Taiwan-Blue vs India
TAIPEI — Gilas Pilipinas made the necessary adjustments on both ends to beat Taiwan-Blue, 88-72, last night in the William Jones Cup at the jampacked Taipei Peace Basketball Gymnasium here.
Fil-German Christian Standhardinger posted a double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds – including nine on the offensive end – while Fil-Canadian Matthew Wright also came through with 17 points on 4-of-8 shooting from three-point territory.
The victory put the national team on the win column after absorbing a 90-77 setback opposite a taller and experienced 3D Global Sports of Canada in its tournament debut Saturday evening.
“We have to take good shots,” said Gilas mentor Chot Reyes after the Nationals converted 31-of-83 shots from the field, including 11of-32 from the three-point arc, and 15-of-26 from the free throw line.
“The second objective in this game is to defend better. That (win) shows that the team is learning and the team is improving,” added Reyes, who also got 15 points from Kiefer Ravena and 10 points from RR Pogoy.
The national team controlled the rebounding department, 54-38, and it also held Taiwan to 25-of-72 shooting from the perimeter, as well as 12-of-19 from the stripe – a marked improvement after giving Canada 40 attempts – making 31 – from the foul line.
At 1-1, the Filipinos joined Taiwan and Lithuania between fourth to sixth places behind unbeaten South Korea, Iraq and Canada all with 2-0 cards.
A three-pointer by Wright gave Gilas breathing room with a 64-53 lead with five minutes left in the third period to the delight of the Filipino fans – mostly Overseas Filipino Workers – that watched the game.
Wright’s triple made it tougher for the host Taiwanese to mount a serious comeback, as Gilas cruised in the fourth quarter highlighted by big shots by Ravena.
NOTES: The national team entered the court with Bamboo’s popular song “Noypi” blasting at the venue to the delight of the team supporters, mostly OFWs… After he sat out in the first game against the Canadians, Mike Tolomia replaced Raymar Jose on the roster. Von Pessumal, Ed Daquioag, Alfonso Gotladera and Almond Vosotros did not play for the second straight game… PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa and media bureau chief Willie Marcial are expected to arrive today to support the national team… NBA superstar Kyrie Irvng of the Cleveland Cavaliers is scheduled to be appear in the tournament’s final game between home team Taiwan-Blue (Team A) and South Korea.
PHILIPPINES 88 – Wright 17, Standhardinger 17, Ravena 15, Pogoy 10, Myers 9, Cruz 6, Ferrer 5, Tolomia 4, Jalalon 3, Parks 2, Belo 0, Paras 0.
TAIWAN-BLUE 72 – Zheng 16, Po 14, Yi 13, Davis 11, Cheng 6, Long 5, Yi-Jie 4, Zhi 0, Huan 0.
Quarters: 23-22; 47-40; 68-60; 88-72.
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