GILAS Pilipinas brought honor to the country once again after dethroning Southern California-Fukienese Association with a come-from-behind 81-77 win to rule the 19th Super Kung Sheung Cup championship Sunday at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wanchai, Hong Kong.
Kevin Alas, Gary David, and naturalized player Marcus Douthit anchored the Nationals’ huge comeback and finish the eight-team tournament unbeaten in all five games.
Alas, the son of Alaska assistant coach Louie and star player of the Letran Knights in the NCAA, was adjudged Most Valuable Player of the meet.
Douthit paced Gilas with 19 points and 20 rebounds, David added 14 and Alas with 13 including 5-of-6 from the field. Garvo Lanete had 12 points.
The Nationals trailed at the half, 40-45, but put themselves in a perfect position to win the game when they cut the deficit to within 59-60 after three quarters, and paved the way for the thrilling finish.
The championship is the second for Gilas Pilipinas after winning the championship of the 34th William Jones Cup basketball tournament in Taipei last year with a similar comeback win against the USA during the title-clinching win.
The championship came a week after the national team – mostly comprised of cadet players from the national pool – finished in 6th place during the 24th Dubai Invitational basketball tournament.
“ YES! Big hope 4 d future :),” tweeted coach Chot Reyes in his account @coachot shortly after the win.
"Although catch up lang sila, he really felt na mananalo sila because very relax daw si coach Chot," said Louie Alas when asked about his son's text message to him following the victory.