TAIPEI – For a team together for just two weeks, Smart Gilas II made a good impression in topping Jordan, 88-78, in the opening day of the 34th William Jones Cup at the TPEC Gymnasium on Saturday night.
Marcus Douthit and his teammates blew hot and cold, but played smart enough to get to a winning start in the short one-round-robin competition among nine teams from eight countries.
Douthit, Larry Fonacier and Gabe Norwood delivered in the crunch as the Nationals withstood the tall and tough Jordanian side that is also on a rebuilding process just like the Phl team.
Gone is American coach Tab Baldwin and taking over is legendary Jordanian player Murad Barakat.
“I’m generally pleased,” said Smart Gilas II coach Chot Reyes.
“Obviously, there are still a lot to work on but we can only get better as they continue playing together. They will only figure out the nuances of our game as they play a lot more,” Reyes added.
Reyes was particularly impressed by their 52-point second-half output.
“We scored 52 points in 20 minutes despite our several free throw misses and missed layups. It could have been an easy 60-point half,” said Reyes.
“We didn’t do bad. We lost the game as we missed easy shots and free throws,” rued Barakat.
Douthit collected 17 points and 14 rebounds with Gary David, Jeff Chan and Larry Fonacier adding at least 10 markers each for Smart Gilas II which next plays Chinese Taipei B at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Jordanian naturalized player Rasheim Wright topscored with 24 points.
Earlier in the day, Iran crushed Lebanon, 89-74, and Anyang KGC of Korea clobbered Chinese Taipei B, 109-83.
Minus 7-foot-1 main man Hamed Haddadi, the Iranians banked heavily on sleek forward Samad Bahrami and heady guard Hamed Afagh while the Koreans anchored their steady showing on imports Juan Patillo and Garrett Stutz. (SB)
Philippines 88 – Douthit 17, David 13, Chan 11, Fonacier 10, De Ocampo 8, Norwood 7, Villaneuva 7, Mercado 6, Tenorio 4, Thoss 4, Ganuelas 0, Baracael 0.
Jordan 78 – Wright 24, Hussein 17, Abdeen 14, Ruqayah 10, Aldwairi 4, Alhamarsheh 3, Zaghab 2, Alnajjar 0, Al Hait 0.
Quarterscores: 25-16, 36-39, 66-54, 88-78