by Waylon Galvez
(Taipei Peace Basketball Gymnasium)
11 a.m. – Chinese Taipei-White vs Iraq
1 p.m. – Japan vs Philippines
3 p.m. – India vs Iran
5 p.m. – South Korea vs Lithuania
7:00 p.m. – Canada vs Chinese Taipei-Blue
Taipei – Gilas Pilipinas recovered from a woeful first half performance with a strong finish to score its second straight win as it downed Chinese Taipei’s Team B, 93-82, in the William Jones Cup yesterday at the Taipei Peace Basketball Gymnasium here.
Fil-Canadian sharpshooter Matthew Wright continued with his sizzling performance as he exploded for 21 points off the bench on 8-of-14 shooting from the field, including 5-of-9 from the three-point area.
The national team used a decisive 11-2 run capped by a triple from Roger Pogoy that turned a 77-75 edge into an 88-77 advantage with 2:21 left in a game that saw several skirmishes.
Gilas import Mike Myers also stepped up as he played his best game so far with a double-double 14 points and 14 rebounds, while Pogoy added 15 points, Jio Jalalon contributed 13 points, five rebounds and five assists, and Kiefer Ravena 10 points and seven assists.
The victory improved the national team’s win-loss record to 2-1, tying Lithuania for third and fourth places in the standings. Gilas takes on winless Japan (0-3) today at 1 p.m.
“Really, my most feared game is Taipei B – always. They play with a lot of energy, they come in and they have nothing to lose. It’s a game I approached with a lot of caution,” said Gilas coach Chot Reyes.
“We tried to tell the guys that they have to make sure that they come out with maximum effort because for sure the other team will come out with maximum effort.”
The game came less than 24 hours after Gilas’ intense-filled encounter with Taipei’s Team A where Wright dropped 17 points to match Fil-German Christian Standhardinger’s 17 points with 15 rebounds in an 88-72 triumph Sunday evening.
The home team came out with more energy, while the Filipinos obviously struggled to recover the same form from the previous game as halftime ended with the score tied, 44-all.
The national team threatened to turn things around in the third period but the Taiwanese – led by Chen Ying-Chun and import Kyle Barone – were quick to recover with their three-point bombs.
After a three-point basket by Wright to put the Philippines up 77-73, the 6-foot-10 Barone converted two foul shots off an unsportsmanlike foul by Pogoy with 6:47 left in the game.
The call apparently roused up Gilas.
From there, the Nationals made their move with a breakaway run.
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