Korean Basketball League champion Anyang KGC proved too composed for the hard-fighting Rain or Shine team, securing an 87-77 victory in the 2023 William Jones Cup at the Taipei Heping Gymnasium on Thursday, August 17.
The Elasto Painters managed to stay within striking distance but struggled to breach the 10-point barrier established by the Koreans.
Former PBA import Du’Vaughn Maxwell and Ji Hoon Park delivered timely hits that effectively kept the Filipinos at bay.
Despite Rain or Shine narrowing down a once 20-point lead held by Anyang to a 10-point difference, courtesy of a 6-0 spurt led by Ange Kouame and Andrei Caracut, the score stood at 63-73 with 6:40 left on the clock.
Park and Maxwell, however, orchestrated a 9-5 counter run, proving sufficient to provide a buffer against a late surge of three-pointers from the Rain or Shine side.
Park’s explosive performance netted him 25 points, as Anyang showcased its dominance over Filipino teams, having previously handed San Miguel Beer a resounding 142-87 defeat during the East Asia Super League Champions Week.
Anyang did not have Rhenz Abando and Omari Spellman as they are with Gilas and the Cedars, respectively, for the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
Maxwell also made a significant contribution with 15 points and nine rebounds.
Caracut delivered a second consecutive outstanding performance, amassing 19 points, while Kouame achieved a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Despite their efforts, the Filipinos found themselves with a 1-5 record in the standings.
Rain or Shine will take a break on Friday before concluding its campaign against Japan’s U22 national team and UC Irvine over the weekend.