Going into the game shorthanded, without all three of Gilas’ natural point guards, Gilas Pilipinas stood still in surviving a late surge by the USA Select team in the final quarter. Calvin Abueva led Gilas with 20 points and 9 boards for a 78-74 victory.
Before the highly anticipated match of the Philippines and USA, the Filipinos still had a chance to clinch the Jones Cup title, which they ironically last won at the expense of the Americans last 2012. This would only be possible if Russia defeated Iran in an earlier game.
Unfortunately for the whole Filipino community, the Iranians prevailed which denied Gilas Pilipinas the chance to clinch the championship.
Keeping up the pace
Gilas 3.0 fought tooth and nail with the Americans right from the opening tip. In the first quarter, through a usual energetic Calvin Abueva, the Filipinos managed to notch a quick slim 8-6 advantage in a series of running starts.
In a quarter that no team managed to have more than a single possession lead, the Philippine national squad managed to carry a 2-point edge over the US Selection team at 15-13.
Turning the tides
Off from a nick and tuck opening canto, Gilas Pilipinas stepped on the gas and used their high intensity plays and some good shooting touch. Abueva continued his stellar start to better plays in the second quarter.
The flamboyant Alaska forward led the charge as Gilas shooters Gary David and last game’s hero Dondon Hontiveros found their mark from the outside. Abueva and David led Gilas in scoring with ten and seven respectively as they went on to bring a 40-30 advantage into the dugout.
To start the second half, it seemed that Gilas have been repeating what they have done in the second quarter as the lead as much as 18 through another Abueva basket.
Preventing the surge
Entering the payoff period with a 13-point margin, Gilas Pilipinas looked poised to secure a win in order to solidify their hold at second place. David opened the canto with a triple but USA blasted a 9-1 run to trim the deficit to eight.
On a triple by Marquin Chandler, the Americans saw themselves only down by four with just over a minute left. In the ensuing play, Cory Bradford nailed three free throws to come within 74-71.
Norwood then missed a jumper with 30 seconds left. Luckily for the national squad, Ranidel De Ocampo secured the offensive board as Hontiveros got fouled and sealed the game with two foul shots.
Philippines will look to secure the Jones cup silver tomorrow as they battle listless Chinese Taipei B for their final match of the eight-day, nine-nation tournament. Gilas’ victory over USA marked their fifth win in seven matches to stay behind crowned champions Iran.
Philippines (78) – Abueva 20, Thoss 13, David 13, Hontiveros 7, De Ocampo 7, Taulava 7, Intal 5, Tautuaa 4, Rosario 2, Norwood 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Pingris 0
USA Select (74) – Chandler 20, Bradford 19, Warner 17, Mcdonald 8, Closs 6, Watkins 2, Hall 2, Waters 0, Mirza 0, Andrade 0
Quarterscores: 15-13, 40-30, 60-47, 78-74
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