TAIPEI - Gilas Pilipinas rediscovered its shooting touch on Thursday night, dominating a rugged Iraq side, 84-75, in a highly physical match in the 39th Jones Cup at the Taipei Heping Gymnasium.
After going 1-for-26 from three-point distance in a loss to South Korea the day Gilas shot way better and stood its ground against an Iraq side that tested the youngsters both in terms of toughness and maturity.
While Gilas' fourth win in six games had no bearing on the title race, it nonetheless bodes well for the Philippines' campaign in the Fiba Asia Cup in Lebanon next month where it will be facing Iraq in the group phase.
"We didn't want to give them the extra motivation ahead of the Fiba Asia, but we also want to get a feel of how to play against them," said Gilas coach Chot Reyes at the end of a hot-tempered match that saw a number of technicals slapped on both sides.
"So in that respect, that will be a big help."
Matthew Wright hit a pair of three-pointers and Roger Pogoy hit another to kick off the game-breaking run, while Kobe Paras cut loose for a dunk as Gilas opened a 36-22 lead at the half.
Gilas enjoyed its biggest lead at 18 points, 67-49, on a Kevin Ferrer three-pointer late in the third quarter before the game descended into chaos with cheap shots and dirty plays aplenty from both sides.
Wright and Pogoy, who went a combined 0-for-12 against Korea, hit two three-pointers each and finished with eight and 12 points, respectively.
Overall, Gilas went 7-of-21 from three-point distance.
Kiefer Ravena added 13 points and six assists in 22 minutes, Jio Jalalon had 10 points, four rebounds, and two assists, while import Mike Myers had 16 points and 18 boards to help Gilas win the rebound battle, 43-28.
Naturalized player Demar Mayfield led Iraq (3-3) with 29 points, four rebounds, four assists, and six steals in 37 minutes of play.
Philippines 84 – Myers 16, Ravena 13, Pogoy 12, Cruz 10, Jalalon 10, Wright 8, Standhardinger 4, Jose 4, Ferrer 3, Paras 2, Parks 2.
Iraq 75 – Mayfield 29, Al-hchaimi 17, Abdullah 8, Khajehzadeh 7, Ismael 4, Hameed 4, Alazawi 3, Aljuboori 3, Al-tameemi 0, Talib 0, Hamzah 0.
Quarterscores:15-19, 36-22, 63-49, 84-75