By REY LACHICA
Games Today (Xinzhuang gym)
1 p.m. – Japan vs Egypt
3 p.m. – Iran vs US
5 p.m. – Korea vs PH-Mighty Sports
7 p.m. – Taiwan-A vs India
NEW TAIPEI CITY, Taiwan – Philippine representative Mighty Sports Apparels battles Korea today in the 38th William Jones Cup with coach Bo Perasol looking to employ the same tactic used by Egypt in beating the highly-touted Korean squad here.
“We have to hit the Koreans where it will hurt them most – play smartly at the post in order to test their defense. That way, we can also check if they can handle our bigs,” said Perasol before the team’s early shoot around as they prepare for their big showdown with host Taiwan-A late yesterday.
Perasol said they should not only be sharp and consistent on offense but also be fast and quick on the defensive end in their 5 p.m. showdown.
That was what the beefier Egyptians exactly did in eking out a pulsating 74-73 win in the opener of the annual event that overshadowed Iran’s 73-61 win over Taiwan-B also Saturday at the Xinzhuang gym.
“Korea can match us up in size so we need to defend well against their outside shooters. If we can do that, we are going to have a better chance,” added Perasol referring to Lee Seong-Hyun, Byun Kihun and Heo Il-Young – they combined for 38 points in their game against the Egyptians.
Expected to lead the assault of Mighty Sports are versatile forward Troy Gillenwater, Al Thorton and Dewark Spencer while local free agents Sunday Salvacion and Leo Avenido and Rain or Shine’s Jeric Teng are also expected to provide quality minutes for a team hurriedly formed.
Senegalese 7-foot center Hamady N’Diaye and former Ginebra import VernonMaclin will alternate in manning the center spot while Zach Graham and Mike Singletary also need to step up to lessen the offensive burder for Thornton and Gillenwater.
Aside from their physical superiority, the Egyptians were surprisingly fast and resilient as they threw the Koreans out of their comfort zone early to take a commanding 43-25 advantage at half time
The Koreans did rediscover their shooting touch in the final half but got tired chasing the Egyptians, thus missing two vital shots that could have changed the outcome of the game.
Perasol said they could not afford to play three good quarters and play bad the next.
“Consistency is important is this kind of tournament, you can’t commit too many mistakes,” said Perasol. “I aver already challenged the boys to be very cautious, avoid silly mistakes to avoid getting into foul trouble.’
After taking an opening day bye, the Mighty Sports dribblers were playing against the elite team from the host country that is out to redeem itself after losing to Gilas Pilipinas last year.
Also winning on opening day was Sacramento State University squad which squeaked past India, 62-60.