This is a repost of the well-written article by my fellow writer, Sir Jude Roque, fromYahoo! Philippines:
Inspired by the recent announcement of FIBA Asia that this years Asian Championship will be held in Manila, the Smart Gilas Pilipinas national mens team got off to a rousing start here in the 24th Dubai International Basketball Championship by nipping Al Mouttahed Tripoli of Lebanon, 79-77, Friday at the Al-Ahli Club gym, to the delight of about two thousand Filipino fans.
The nationals shook off a slow start to thwart the No. 3 team in the tough Lebanese league that boasts of three American imports - Marc Salyers, Eric Chatfield and Larry Cox. Salyers is a 69 forward who has played all over Europe, while Chatfield is a hotshot from the University of New Mexico. Cox is a 610 behemoth who leads the Lebanese league in blocks with 3.9 per game.
The Lebanese started the game on fire, leading by as many as 15 points, at 18-3, on two triples by Salyers. Mouttahed was ahead, 22-10, after the first period, ut the gritty young Philippine squad unloaded five treys in the second quarter, two of which came from Meralco Bolts ace gunner Ronjay Buenafe, to take the half, 41-40. Naturalized import Marcus Douthit took control in the third canto as he scattered ten markers to keep Gilas still on top, 59-58, going into the payoff period.
In the fourth quarter, it was a Garvo Lanete and Kevin Alas show as the former NCAA rivals collaborated with a run-and-gun attack to counter the clear size advantage of Mouttahed. Alas, the former Letran standout, fed ex-San Beda star Lanete with a couple of excellent assists. Lanete connected on a triple and two floaters in a three-minute span.
Alas also fed Greg Slaughter with an alley hoop pass that the former completed with a slam, and delivered a crucial three-ball with just under four minutes left. But in the end, it was excellent team defense that sealed the victory for this Philippine squad that was formed in less than two months before the tournament, capped by a Lanete steal in the dying seconds of the game.
Douthit led Gilas with 20 points and 8 boards, while Lanete and Buenafe added 15 and 10 markers respectively. Alas also had a superb game with 9 points, 5 assists and 4 steals.
In the Jones Cup, all of our wins came from behind. Never, never give-up. But I thought the key in the endgame was our ability to make some stops, said head coach Chot Reyes.
Gilas and Mouttahed engaged in a shooting contest, but the Filipinos prevailed with 11 out of 25 triples as opposed to their opponents 8-of-31. The bigger Lebanese, however, won the battle of the boards, 35-29, including 17 offensive rebounds. Gilas had more assists, 15-9.
Gilas faces home team Al-Ahli Club, UAEs top professional team, later today.
Smart Gilas and Mouttahed are joined in Group B by Al-Ahli Club and Jordans Al Riyadi Sporting Aramex Club. In Group A are Sagesse and Al-Riyadi, both from Beirut, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates national team. A team from Kazakhstan was supposed to be part of Group A, but backed-out at the last minute.
Two years ago, the first batch of Gilas under Serbian coach Rajko Toroman placed second behind Egypts El Ettehad Club in this tournament. The only remaining member of that batch is Douthit. Slaughter was part of the 2010 Gilas squad that placed third behind Mahram of Iran and Al-Riyadi of Lebanon.
The Philippine team will easily become the most popular squad here as Dubai has over 800,000 Filipino overseas workers. Pinoys make up the biggest crowd in this annual tournament as they look forward to seeing the nationals in action.
The other members of the squad are KG Canaleta of Air 21, JayR Reyes of Meralco, RR Garcia, Ronald Pascual, Jake Pascual, and Matthew Ganuelas of NLEX, and Fil-Am recruits Justin Melton and Isaac Holstein. Coach Chot is assisted by former national coach Jong Uichico.
Fredette breaks Mighty Sports-PH's hearts in Merlion Cup final - 5 hours ago
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Former NBA player Fredette Jimmer (188-PG-89, college: BYU) broke the hearts of Mighty Sports-Philippines in the Merlion Cup as he engineered a 78-77 victory for the Shanghai Sharks in the gold medal game of the tournament Sunday night at the OCBC Arena in Singapore. Fredette torched Mighty Sports-Philippines with 43 points, and hit three free throws with no time left to lift the Sharks to a come-from-behind victory. Mighty Sports, led by Al Thornton (203-F-83, college: Florida St.) and K... [read more]
Former NBA player Fredette Jimmer (188-PG-89, college: BYU) broke the hearts of Mighty Sports-Philippines in the Merlion Cup as he engineered a 78-77 victory for the Shanghai Sharks in the gold medal game of the tournament Sunday night at the OCBC Arena in Singapore. Fredette torched Mighty Sports-Philippines with 43 points, and hit three free throws with no time left to lift the Sharks to a come-from-behind victory. Mighty Sports, led by Al Thornton (203-F-83, college: Florida St.) and Kiefer Isaac Ravena (181-G/F-93), led by as much as 14 points, 69-55, in the fourth quarter before Fredette anchored Shanghai's comeback. Fredette sparked an 18-4 run, and assisted on the three-pointer that tied the game at 73 with still 3:52 left to play. Ravena handed Mighty Sports back the lead when he drained a three-pointer with 3:31 left while also drawing a foul from Fredette. He completed the four-point play to make it 77-73. Fredette cut the lead to two points with a lay-up in transition with 1:21 to go, and Ravena badly misfired on a triple that could have iced the game with still 40 seconds left. Needing to make one stop to seal the championship, Mighty Sports instead fouled Fredette as he was launching a three-pointer at the buzzer. The former Sacramento King coolly made all free throws to secure the victory. "We just wanted to get a good shot off, we wanted to get the last shot," said Fredette after the game. "My teammates did a great job of fighting hard tonight." "I had three (shots) to make two, that's the way I thought about it," he added. "Two puts us in overtime. My mentality was to go in there and that I had to make two." Thornton finished the game with 36 points for Mighty Sports. Courtesy of: abs-cbn.com
PH-Mighty Sports through to Merlion Cup finals after escaping Singapore Slingers - 1 day ago
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Philippines-Mighty Sports pulled off a tough 72-70 semifinal victory over hometown team Singapore Slingers to advance to the Merlion Cup finals on Saturday at the OCBC Arena in the city-state. Dewarick Spencer (193-G-82, college: Arkansas St., agency: Higher Vision Sports) fired 17 of his 29 points in the third quarter to pump life into Mighty Sports which, after a strong start, trailed by nine points in the third quarter. Filipino guards Kiefer Isaac Ravena (181-G/F-93) and Joseph Yeo (1... [read more]
Philippines-Mighty Sports pulled off a tough 72-70 semifinal victory over hometown team Singapore Slingers to advance to the Merlion Cup finals on Saturday at the OCBC Arena in the city-state. Dewarick Spencer (193-G-82, college: Arkansas St., agency: Higher Vision Sports) fired 17 of his 29 points in the third quarter to pump life into Mighty Sports which, after a strong start, trailed by nine points in the third quarter. Filipino guards Kiefer Isaac Ravena (181-G/F-93) and Joseph Yeo (183-G-83) also combined for five crucial points down the stretch that gave the Philippine club the lead for good. PH-Mighty Sports will take on the Shanghai Sharks led by former NBA player Fredette Jimmer (188-PG-89, college: BYU) for the title on Sunday in a matchup between the tournament's two unbeaten teams. PH-Mighty Sports started the game on a hot 7-0 run powered by slam dunks from Hamady N'diaye (212-C-87, college: Rutgers).. They finished the first quarter with a 21-15 lead. But the Slingers put the clamps on PH-Mighty Sports, limiting the Filipino club to just 12 points in the second quarter. The Slingers took a 36-33 at the break which they expanded to nine points, 44-35, in the early goings of the third frame. But just as the Slingers were about to pull away, Spencer woke PH-Mighty Sports up. He suddenly waxed hot on the floor, burying three triples and converting tough baskets to score 17 of the team's first 18 points in the third quarter. Yeo then scored a layup to complete the turnaround for PH-Mighty Sports which took a 53-46 lead. But the Slingers made their way back and trimmed their deficit to just two, 56-54, heading into the last quarter. It was a nip-and-tuck affair in the fourth period, with the teams exchanging leads. Big man Justin Howard gave the Slingers a 68-67 lead with just a minute left after shooting a surprise three-pointer off an awkward release. But Ravena countered it with a reverse layup. After a miss by the Slingers, Yeo then pulled up for a triple to push PH-Mighty Sports' lead to four, 72-68, with 36 seconds left. But the Slingers converted two free throws in the next play. Spencer then made a huge blunder in the inbound for a huge turnover that gave the Slingers a chance to take the last shot with just nine ticks left. However, the Slingers' Filipino import Jeff Viernes was called for steps in his drive to the basket, allowing PH-Mighty Sports to escape with the victory. Courtesy of: interaksyon.com
Quarterfinal action from the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup tonight saw sister Meralco and TNT gain separate tickets to the semifinals. Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon): MERALCO BOLTS over MAHINDRA ENFORCER, 105-82 The Meralco Bolts continued their mastery of the Mahindra Enforcer, trouncing the playoff first-timers for the second time in three days, 105-82, to clinch a semifinals berth in the PBA Governors' Cup Saturday at Ynares Center in Antipolo. Import Allen Durham tallied 24 po... [read more]
Quarterfinal action from the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup tonight saw sister Meralco and TNT gain separate tickets to the semifinals.
Game Capsules (adapted from Interaksyon):
MERALCO BOLTS over MAHINDRA ENFORCER, 105-82 The Meralco Bolts continued their mastery of the Mahindra Enforcer, trouncing the playoff first-timers for the second time in three days, 105-82, to clinch a semifinals berth in the PBA Governors' Cup Saturday at Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Import Allen Durham tallied 24 points and 16 rebounds while Chris Newsome added 19 markers to lead the Bolts who rallied from a 15-point deficit to pull off the blowout.
Cliff Hodge scored 14 points and Jared Dillinger 12 markers to help Meralco which just last Wednesday also rallied past Mahindra to seize the twice-to-beat in their playoff for the No.4 spot.
The win was Meralco's third straight over Mahindra which missed out on clinching an outright twice-to-beat after falling to the Bolts in their elimination round duel last September 11.
In the semifinals, Meralco will face the winner of the TNT KaTropa-Phoenix Fuel Master quarterfinal matchup.
James White finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Enforcer who, thanks to a 4-0 start, were able to appear in their first quarterfinals appearance in franchise history.
Lines of the Game: Allen Durham (MER) - 24pts, 16rebs, 6asts, 1blk, 3 triples, 7/14 FGs. James White (MAH) - 20pts, 10rebs, 1ast, 1stl, 1blk.
TNT KA TROPA over PHOENIX FUEL MASTERS, 136-124 Superstar guard Jayson Castro exploded for 42 points as he carried TNT KaTropa to the semifinals with a 136-124 win over the gutsy Phoenix Fuel Masters in the PBA Governors' Cup playoffs Saturday at Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Castro converted 14 out of 26 shots, made five out of 11 triples and sank nine out of 12 free throws. He also grabbed four rebounds and three assists-all in just 27 minutes of play.
The result booked TNT a semifinals date with sister team Meralco Bolts and completed the final four cast that will also see San Miguel and Ginebra battling in the other side of the bracket.
Castro was simply unstoppable on the floor, finishing daredevil drives to the basket and pulling up for jumpers when defenders fell asleep. He already had 29 points after the first two quarters.
Michael Madanly also had 17 points, while Ranidel De Ocampo and Ryan Reyes chipped in 16 apiece. Larry Fonacier had 13 and Kelly Williams contributed 12.
Eugene Phelps finished the game with 39 points and 17 boards for Phoenix.
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