by Waylon Galvez
TAIPEI – Gilas Pilipinas made sure it finished its campaign on a high note as it downed Iran, 90-82, in the 2017 William Jones Cup last night at the Taipei Peace Basketball Gymnasium here.
Import Mike Myers collected 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Matthew Wright contributed 20 points and Fil-German Christian Standhardinger 13 points off the bench for the national team.
The victory allowed the Philippines to finish the annual tournament with a 6-3 record – good for fourth place behind gold medalist Canada, silver medal winner Lithuania and bronze medalist South Korea.
Korea (6-2) is playing Chinese Taipei-Blue (4-4) at presstime, but even if it loses and ties the Philippines at 6-3, the Koreans hold a winner-over-the-other advantage over the Nationals since they defeated Gilas, 83-72, last Wednesday.
Canada and Lithuania finished tied on top with identical 8-1 win-loss records, but applying the same winner-over-the-other rule the Canadians got the nod over the Lithuanians.
Last year, the national team- backed by Mighty Sports – bagged the Jones Cup title with a clean 8-0 sweep.
Gilas mentor Chot Reyes, however, felt that Gilas played below par against the Iranians, who, like the Philippines, fielded young players in preparation for future international tournaments.
“I thought this is the worst game that we played the whole tournament. In Korea (game) we shot poorly but we defended very well and I thought we played a very good game even if we lost. Same thing with Canada and Lithuania,” said Reyes.
“Maybe the players are tired, maybe they kind of overlooked Iran. But I really thought we played well below our potential in this ball game,” added Reyes as the game was close until the fourth quarter.
Wright, who converted 3-of-8 from three-point territory, buried a triple that gave the national team its biggest lead, 84-69, with 4:39 left to play. Overall, the Filipino shot 8-of-26 from the three-point area.
For the entire campaign, Reyes gave the national team a “good” grade.
PHILIPPINES 90 – Myers 21, Wright 20, Standhardinger 13, Pogoy 9, Ravena 8, Cruz 5, Parks 5, Ferrer 3, Jose 2, Tolomia 2, Pessumal 2, Jalalon 0.
IRAN 82 – Pazrofteh 21, Soleymani 21, Khajehzadeh 12, Mozafarivanani 11, Rezaeifar 11, Beigiharchegani 3, Falahat 2, Shaharian Nasl 1, Mohammadi 0, Rezaei 0, Reaei 0.
Quarters: 26-22; 50-42; 70-62; 90-82.