Mighty Sports-Philippines blasted Korea, 86-65, for a blazing 2-0 start in the 2016 William Jones Cup Monday evening in Taiwan.
Al Thornton led the Philippine-side with 24 points on 7-for-13 shooting, 2-of-3 from distance and grabbed seven rebounds. Former Air 21 Express import Zach Graham and last night’s leading scorer Dewarick Spencer added 13 and 12 points respectively.
Mighty Sports surged to an early 12-3 lead in the first frame but the Koreans answered right back, eventually gaining an 18-17 lead. Five straight points by Thornton, including a buzzer-beating triple, stabilized the Philippines.
Behind the troika of Zach Graham, Spencer, and Thornton, the Philippines were able to establish a double-digit lead entering the half, 45-31. Graham paced Mighty Sports with seven second quarter points. On a side note, Jeric Teng played four minutes in the quarter, going scoreless.
The Koreans were able to cut the lead to single digits in the opening moments of the third frame. Former Batako Bull Mike Singletary scored five of his seven points in the quarter to help fend-off the Korean hijack.
The watershed moment of the game occurred in the final frame. With the Koreans going for another surge, Thornton carried the team on his shoulders, scoring 14 points in a game-breaking rally. Troy Gillenwater complemented the Philippine run, scoring seven markers on a perfect 3-for-3 clip – including a reverse jam with 1:24 left that gave Mighty the biggest lead of the game, 84-62.
As a team, Mighty Sports shot 27-for-52 from the field, good for 51.92 percent compared to just 33 percent from the Koreans. In addition, the Philippines greatly out-rebounded Korea, 36-23.
Mighty Sports-Philippines will next face the USA on Tuesday, July 26 at 5:00pm.
Philippines (86) – Thornton 24, Graham 13, Spencer 12, Gillenwater 9, Macklin 9, Singletary 7, Brickman 5, N’Diaye 4, Tang 3, Teng 0, Avenido 0.
Quarterscores: 22-18, 45-31, 59-45, 86-65.