TAIPEI - A lackluster Gilas Pilipinas did just enough to put away Chinese-Taipei B, 93-82, on Monday and stay in the championship hunt in the 39th Jones Cup at the Taipei Heping Gymnasium.
Just 17 hours after an impressive 88-72 victory over the hosts' Team A, 88-72, for its first tournament victory, Gilas clearly lacked energy and consequently got an unexpected fight in its hands from a young Taipei side that stayed within two, 75-77, with six minutes left.
It took an 11-2 run capped by a Roger Pogoy three-pointer and highlighted by a double-pump jumper from the baseline by Jio Jalalon to restore order, 88-77, with 2:10 minutes to go.
"If our team lacked energy, we're nothing. But if we can't have pace, we're in trouble," said Gilas coach Chot Reyes. "We don't have a low-post threat where we can just dump the ball inside and let him do his thing, so we really need the pace and energy out there."
"Fortunately, we were able to grind this one out today," he added.
Matthew Wright led Gilas in scoring for the second straight game, scoring 21 points on 5-of-9 shooting from three-point distance. But the Filipinos still needed the 14 points and 14 rebounds of mport Mike Myers to put this one away.
Kiefer Ravena added 10 points and seven assists, Pogoy had 15 points, Christian Standhardinger had six points and nine boards while Jalalon had 13 points, five rebounds, five assists and one steal as Gilas moved up to fourth place with a 2-1 (win-loss) record.
As drab as the performance was, Standhardinger said he was prouder to win such games when Gilas doesn't have it.
"Our energy level was much higher yesterday, but I think it's just normal because there was a lot of running, a lot of physicality. But we found a way to play through it," said the 6-8 Fil-German.
"Games such as this are harder to win, so I'm happy we were able to do it," he added.
To have any chance of winning this championship, Gilas need Canada to slip up. But right now, the Canadians are rolling along, beating Iraq, 99-48, in the day's opening game to improve to 3-0.
Gilas 93 - Wright 21, Pogoy 15, Myers 14, Jalalon 13, Ravena 10, Ferrer 8, Standhardinger 6, Cruz 6, Paras 0, Daquioag 0, Pessumal 0, Vosotros 0
Taipei B - Chen 17, Barone 16, Huang 13, Chen G 9, Lee 8, Chien 5, Wen 5, Liu 3, Fan 2.
Quarters: 18-20, 44-44, 69-62; 93-82.