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Gilas nips Taipei 5


Games Today 11 a.m. – Lithuania vs Japan
1 p.m. – Iraq vs Canada
3 p.m. – Philippines vs Taiwan-White
5 p.m. – Iran vs South Korea
7 p.m. – Taiwan-Blue vs India

TAIPEI – Gilas Pilipinas delivered an impressive bounce back performance from its opening day loss to Canada after manhandling host Taiwan-Blue, 88-72, last night in the William Jones Cup at the Taipei Peace Basketball Gymnasium here.

PBA rookie Matthew Wright, Fil-German Christian Standhardinger and former Ateneo star Kiefer Ravena led the charge for Gilas in barging into the win column after suffering a 90-77 loss to Canada’s 3D Global Sports in Saturday’s tournament opener.

Wright hit four three-pointers on his way to 17 points, Standhardinger also scored 17 points while grabbing 15 rebounds, Ravena had 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Chot Reyes-mentored Nationals.

A three-pointer by Wright gave Gilas breathing room with a 64-53 lead with five minutes left in the third period to the delight of the Filipino fans – mostly Overseas Filipino Workers – that watched the game.

Wright’s triple made it tougher for the host Taiwanese to mount a serious comeback, as Gilas cruised in the fourth quarter highlighted by big shots by Ravena.

The Filipinos were in control in the first half behind its defense, taking a 40-30 advantage following a jump shot by Jio Jalalon midway in the second period.

Taiwan, however, clawed its way back with a 10-run behind naturalized player Quincy Davis, Cheng Liu and Yi-Hsiang Chou, whose layup leveled the score at 40-all with 2:12 left in the second frame.

Gilas guard Mike Tolomia, in his first game as he replaced forward Raymar Jose on the lineup after he sat out the opening match versus Canada, came off the bench and scored four straight points on back-to-back jump shots.

Roger Pogoy made a steal that led to split free throws, and after a missed shot by Taipei, import Mike Myers converted two foul shots to put the Nationals ahead by seven points, 47-40, at the break.