Wuhan, China – People now know why other teams are hell-bent in preventing the Pilipinas Smart-Gilas to compete with a full line-up. After dealing Jordan a tough loss, the Philippines brought back to earth the dreams on erstwhile undefeated Japan team, 83-76. The return of Marcio Lassiter and Chris Lutz has netted the Philippines two come from behind wins. The Gilas are not dark horses anymore but a big threat to the olympic aspirations of the Asian basketball powers.
China was lucky that they were able to take advantage the absence of the Filipino wingmen. A possible rematch against the Philippines in the finals will surely create an interesting story line and possibly a different outcome.
In the game against Japan, the Philippines started strong and took an 8-2 lead. Japan responded later in the quarter and scored 15 unanswered points from the last few minutes of the opening canto to the first few seconds of the 2nd quarter to take a 26-18 lead. Joji Takeuchi led Japan to hold a 40-34 advantage at the half.
The third quarter was an all-Gilas show as they outscored the Japanese 26-12. Marcus Douthit, Lassiter, and Talk N’ Text’s Kelly Williams dominated both ends of the floor. Jimmy Alapag took over in the final period for the Philippines, as the current PBA MVP scored 12 points in the quarter and help the Philippines hold on for the win.
Douhthit negated Joji Takeuchi’s 22 point-effort as he finished with 3 more at 25. Jimmy Alapag and Marcio Lassiter both had 15 points while Williams had 12 markers. Takeshi Shonaka, Kenta Hirose and Takuya Kawamura also scored in twin digits for Japan.
The Gilas will be battling Syria tomorrow to clinch at least a No.2 seed after the second round group play. Japan will play hosts China tomorrow.
Smart Gilas 83 – Douthit 25, Alapag 15, Lassiter 15, Williams 12, Barroca 6, de Ocampo 4, Casio 4, Taulava 2, Tiu 0, Lutz 0.
Japan 76 – J. Takeuchi 22, Shonaka 14, Hirose 13, Kawamura 12, K. Takeuchi 6, Ishizaki 5, Amino 4, Matsui 0, Takeda 0, Sakurao 0, Kashiwagi 0.
Quarterscores: 18-23, 34-40, 60-52, 83-76
caloycomment: Some key stats on observations in the Philippines vs. Japan game … Continue
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