THE potent outside shooting that Smart Gilas-Pilipinas 2.0 displayed in the Jones Cup has yet to show up in the Fiba Asia Cup championship in Tokyo, going a combined 8-for-48 from beyond the three-point arc in its first two games.
A day after going 6-of-35 from three-point range in a 71-68 heartbreaker against China 'B' in their debut, the Nationals once again threw up clankers on Saturday against Lebanon but were lucky to have Marcus Douthit's inside presence to save the day in a 78-68 victory.
The Nationals went a paltry 2-for-13 from beyond the arc against the Lebanese, with an off-the-bench Larry Fonacier accounting for two. Good thing, Douthit bullied his way inside for 25 points and 21 rebounds to make up for the Nationals’ cold shooting from the outside.
“I felt that somebody had to step up, and my teammates allowed me to do so,” said Douthit, who got the better end of his match-up with Lebanon’s new naturalized player Garnett Thompson, a former teammate at Providence.
Thompson finished with 17 points, but was held to just four in the second half when Smart Gilas stepped up and turned the game around.
Gilas, however, will need to get its outside shooting going if they hope to do well when the tournament hits its knockout stages. Gunners Jeff Chan, Gary David, LA Tenorio and Fonacier had done so well in the Jones Cup but no one has yet to find his range in Tokyo.