September 25, 2017, 1:33 am
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Gilas wins anew, dumps Taiwanese five

GILAS Pilipinas shrugged off an anemic first half and stepped on the gas in the fourth quarter to hack out a 93-82 victory yesterday over Chinese Taipei B for its second straight win in the 39th William Jones Cup in Taiwan.

On target for the second straight game, Matthew Wright came off the bench and sizzled with a game-high 21 points on 5-of-9 shooting from deep while Roger Pogoy and Jio Jalalon chipped in 15 and 13 markers, respectively.

American import Mike Myers provided Gilas the much-needed inside presence, notching a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds while Kiefer Ravena had 10 points, seven dimes, two steals and a block as the Filipino dribblers improved their record to 2-1.

The victory came on the heels of Gilas’ 88-72 thumping of Chinese Taipei A last Sunday night that made up for the team’s lukewarm debut and a 77-90 loss to Canada last Saturday.

Chinese Taipei B suffered its third straight loss, including a 59-77 decision to Iran last Sunday.

The Philippines is the defending champion and is bidding to win its sixth title overall.

The 10-team, nine-nation joust is a single round tourney where the team with the most wins winning the title.

Gilas coach Chot Reyes said his charges didn’t have the energy and pace but did enough to pull off the triumph.

“If our team lacked energy, we’re nothing. But if we can’t have pace, we’re in trouble,” Reyes was quoted as saying by a sports online portal. “We don’t have a low-post threat where we can just dump the ball inside and let him do his thing, so we really need the pace and energy out there.

“Fortunately, we were able to grind this one out today,” he added.

From a 77-75 lead midway through the payoff period, Gilas leaned on a telling 11-2 blitz capped by a booming three-pointer from Pogoy that gave the Nationals an 88-77 buffer with 2:10 left.

Ying-Chun Chen paced the Taiwanese with 17 points, five caroms, and five assists while Kyle Barone had 16.

Gilas came out flat and battled Chinese Taipei B to a 44-all deadlock at the half, no thanks to its 13 turnovers in the first two quarters.
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