NEW TAIPEI CITY, Taiwan – Philippine representative Mighty Sports Apparels survived an early scare and crushed India, 101-81, to boost its title drive in the Jones Cup on Thursday at the Xinzhuang Gymnasium.
Korean league veteran Dewarick Spencer and former PBA import Al Thornton sparked the team’s furious third quarter run to rip the game wide open and notch Mighty's fifth straight win in the nine-team tournament.
Mighty came out of the halftime break with a 20-4 run that saw it take a 68-52 advantage then closed the quarter with another 11-4 salvo that all but shattered India’s spirit.
Coach Bo Perasol then fielded the local players to close out the game, and the victory pushed Mighty Sports within two wins of raising the championship trophy that Gilas Pilipinas last won in 2012.
Up next for Mighty Sports is an all-important clash with defending champion Iran on Friday – a game Taiwan-based Pinoy fans have been looking forward to.
With a clean record, Mighty Sports can all but clinch the title if it beats Iran on Friday and Egypt on Saturday.
Their last assignment is against Taiwan-B, which is no longer in the mix after slipping to 2-2.
Iran, which fell to a 3-1 record following a shocking 67-50 loss to the 3-2 Koreans the other day, were playing against Taiwan-A at presstime. They will still face Japan on Saturday and India on Sunday.
The 6-foot-4 Spencer also notched the tournament’s first triple-double with 21 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
Thornton also waxed hot as the former NLEX import produced a tournament-high 30 points on a remarkable 13-of-16 shooting from the field.
He eclipsed the previous high of 27 that Spencer scored in the team’s 89-81 win over Taiwan-A last Sunday.
The Indians were on target and surprisingly tough in the first quarter as they buried four triples.
“We struggled in the first half because maybe we took the Indians for granted,” said Spencer. “But against Iran, we have to be ready from start to finish.”
Mighty Sports 101 – Thornton 30, Spencer 21, Macklin 14, Singletary 10, N’Diaye 8, Graham 5, Teng 4, Rodriguez 4, Ferrer 3, Brickman 2, Tang 0.
India 81 – Amritpal 18, Amjyot 15, Bhullar 15, Arumugam 8, Talwinderjit 8, Philip 8, Sivakumar 4, Pari 3, Pethani 2, Annadurai 0, Bhardwaj 0.
Quarters: 23-27, 48-48, 79-59, 101-81.
1 p.m. – India vs Taiwan-B
3 p.m. – Mighty Sports vs Iran
5 p.m. – Japan vs Korea
7 p.m. – Taiwan-A vs Egypt