SMART Gilas Pilipinas 2 blasted Jordan, 88-78, for a rousing debut in the 34th William Jones Cup basketball tournament in Taipei on Saturday.
The win somehow soothed the pain of the Nationals' 75-61 loss to the same Middle East country during the semifinals of last year's Fiba Asia Men's Championship in Wuhan, China that eliminated the Filipinos from the Olympic qualifying meet.
Chot Reyes, now the head coach of this new batch of Gilas Pilipinas, was an assistant to Serbian mentor Rajko Toroman of that hardluck Philippine men's team.
Naturalized player Marcus Douthit punished Gilas' former tormentor with 17 points and 14 rebounds, while gunners Gary David, Jeff Chan, and Larry Fonacier frolicked from the perimeter and combined for 34 points.
The Nationals trailed at the half, 36-39, but outscored the Jordanians, 30-15, in the third period to take a 66-54 lead with them in the pivotal fourth.
"Good win," tweeted by coach Chot Reyes at his account@coachot.
Reyes praised his team for its good commitment to the offense, and at the same time, holding its own at the defensive end. While he cited unfamiliarity as the reason for the Nationals' 19 turnovers, he lamented the fact that they gave up too many fouls.
"Need to adjust to FIBA calls. Learn," he added.
Naturalized player Rasheim Wright finished with 24 points to lead Jordan, which played without key players Sam Daghles and Zaid Abbas.
The Nationals, however, have little time to celebrate the win as they are set to plunge back into action Sunday against the Chinese-Taipei B team for their second-straight game.
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.