Gilas routs Japan
The Gilas Pilipinas used an explosive fourth period performance to vanquish Japan, 75-60, in the 37th William Jones Cup yesterday at the Xin Zhuang Gymnasium in Taipei.
After a nip-and-tuck first 30 minutes of play, the Gilas came alive and unloaded a 29-16 run in the final canto to grab their third win against a lone loss and remain in contention for the title in this prestigious competition.
Moala Tautaa, the PBA’s top draft pick this year, sparked the breakaway with a pair of thunderous dunks in a fiery start to the fourth that gave the Gilas a 56-46 lead. Then, the floodgates opened for the Filipinos as they suddenly could not miss from downtown, with Ranidel de Ocampo, Gary David, Gabe Norwood and Jayson Castro swishing a combined five three-point bombs down the stretch to blow out the Japanese and earn the morale-boosting win.
CRUCIAL GAME VS IRAN
And they need all the momentum they can get heading to today’s pivotal match against the defending Fiba Asia titleholders, Iran, who currently reign atop the standings of this tournament with a 4-1 win-loss mark.
Though Iran lost to the United States yesterday, Iran is expected to come out strong behind former NBA player, Hamed Hadadi, who was sat out of the match versus the USA in anticipation of today’s encounter with the Gilas.
The Terrence Romeo show continued for the Gilas as the flamboyant and skillful guard once again led the team in scoring with 16 points. He added four rebounds and two assists. Three others – De Ocampo, Castro and Tautaa – scored 10 each while Norwood chipped in nine.
The Gilas came out strong and led, 9-4, before the Japanese recovered and pulled to within one, 10-11. Japan briefly took the lead, 33-30, but the Filipinos struck back to retake the lead, 39-35, with triples by Romeo and Norwood.
Japan tied the game at 44-all but Romeo pushed the Gilas back in front heading to the last stanza with a buzzer-beating layup.
Gilas was only up by four, 50-46, when Tautaa got free for a pair of two-handed slams that injected life into what was a fledgling offense. Things then fell into place for the Gilas as it roared to the finish.
Japanese 6-foot-10 superstar Joji Takeuchi led Japan with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
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