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Lithuania too strong for Gilas five

TAIPEI – Tall and sweet-shooting Lithuania put Gilas Pilipinas’ medal hopes in jeopardy Friday as the European squad fashioned out a 91-80 victory in the William Jones Cup basketball tournament at the Taipei Peace basketball Gymnasium.

Lithuania, whose team here is spiked with stars from its professional league, conducted a shooting clinic with nine players knocking in at least one connection from beyond the arc, finishing with a torrid 14-of-36 from downtown.

Gilas could only hit seven out of their 23 attempts.

With its sheer advantage in size, Lithuania controlled the boards, 32-23.

The setback saw Gilas’ win-loss cxard sink to 4-3 record while Lithuania tied Canada for the lead with similar 6-1 cards, followed by South Korea at 5-2, another crack team that Gilas failed to conquer.

Despite the loss, Gilas mentor Chot Reyes expressed satisfaction with the type of effort put up by his young team composed of PBA rookies and amateur stalwarts like Kiefer Ravena, who scored 14 points, had two rebounds, five assists and a steal in nearly 24 minutes of action.

“I’m incredibly proud of the guys,” said Reyes. “Some of the guys (on Lithuania) played as imports in European leagues.

“I know they lost to Canada (early in the tournament), but for me, this is the best team in the Jones Cup.”

The scores:
LITHUANIA 91 – Zukauskas 22, Seskus E. 19, Vingelis 13, Linkevicius 11, Beniusis 11, Suskus D. 7, Jocys 6, Volkus 2, Apsitis 0.

PHILIPPINES 80 – Ravena 14, Myers 14, Pogoy 13, Wright 13, Standhardinger 9, Jalalon 5, Jose 2, Belo 0, Parks Jr. 0, Ferrer 0.

Quarters: 17-22; 50-41; 72-59; 91-80.