The Gilas boys ended their run in Dubai with a sorry blowout to the top basketball club of Lebanon. It wasnt that shocking, of course, given how the boys were quite inexperienced compared to the Lebanese and how the three Sagesse imports, Aaron Harper, DeShawn Sims, and Chudney Gray, were playing really well.
Gilas, toting a 1-win 3-loss record from Dubai, is now relegated to the battle for fifth place with the Lebanese team they beat in their first game, Al Moutahed. Afterwards, Gilas moves on to the Super Keung Sheung Cup in Hong Kong, which will be held from January 22-27. Reportedly, Gilas will tap other PBA players to reinforce the squad. This early, 2012-2013 Philippine Cup BPC Jayson Castro has already been included along with Gary David and LA Tenorio.
Coach Chot Reyes was quite apologetic after his boys lost three straight games, but we should all keep in mind that, with the exception of Marcus Douthit, who sprained his ankle late in the Sagesse game, and the PBA reinforcements, this team is comprised of guys from the cadet pool. Temper your expectations for now, folks!
Sagesse (Lebanon) over SMART-Gilas Pilpinas, 95-65 The size and firepower of Lebanons Sagesse team proved too much for the young Smart Gilas cadet squad as the Philippine team bowed out of contention in the 24th Dubai International Basketball Championship after absorbing a third straight defeat Thursday, 65-95, at the hands of the top Lebanese Club in their quarterfinal bout.
The Lebanese squad rode on the superior skills of its three American reinforcements Aaron Harper, DeShawn Sims and Chudney Gray who combined for 61 points, or, 64% of Sagesses total output. Harper top-scored for Sagesse with 27 points, followed by Sims and Gray with 20 and 14 respectively. KG Canaleta was the lone bright spot in Gilas offense as he exploded for 32 markers, on eight of 11 sniping from beyond the arc. Naturalized import Marcus Douthit added 11 points, 9 boards and 3 blocks.
Sagesse, the current leader in Lebanons Division 1 league, started with a 10-0 blast that set the trend for the game. The Nationals were held scoreless for over three minutes from tip-off until Douthit converted on a post play, but the Lebanese continued the first quarter onslaught and finished with a commanding 28-12 edge after the first ten minutes of play. In the second canto, it was Grays turn to lead Sagesse after uncorking a three-ball to start another 15-6 salvo that put his team ahead 46-25 with still 2:41 left in the first half. Canaleta and Gray traded baskets in the ensuing play but Sagesse remained comfortably ahead, 48-30, at half time.
The gritty Philippine side started the third period like a house on fire with a 14-5 run anchored on Canaletas three straight triples and Fil-American guard Justin Meltons drive to slice the deficit to just nine points, at 44-53. But that turned out to be the closest the Pinoys could bridge the gap as the Lebanese responded with a 15-7 sprint to end the third quarter on top, 68-51.
The fourth quarter was pretty much the same as the more experienced Sagesse team pounced on the absence of Douthit, who sprained his ankle after a post play. Without Douthit, Gilas lost its post game and went to its outside game. Two treys from Canaleta and one from Ronjay Buenafe were all the Nationals got in the last ten minutes of play.
Gilas plays Mouttahed of Lebanon Friday for fifth place honors. The Filipinos hope to repeat their 79-77 win against the Tripoli-based squad to end the tournament on a winning note.
We came here to learn and I think we learned a lot about ourselves (from this tournament), said head coach Chot Reyes in the post-game meeting. Gilas will return to Manila on January 20 before flying to Hong Kong the next day for another invitational tournament. The mens national team is gearing up for the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship in Manila later this year, the qualifying tournament for the 2014 World Cup in Spain.
The cadet pool was formed as a training team to succeed the Gilas squad that will be made up of mostly top players from the PBA. In the Dubai tournament, only three PBA cagers, namely Canaleta, Buenafe and JayR Reyes joined the team comprised of amateur standouts Greg Slaughter, Matt Ganuelas, Garvo Lanete, Kevin Alas, Ronald Pascual, RR Garcia, Jake Pascual, Melton and Isaac Holstein, plus Douthit. Coach Chot Reyes is expected to tap some PBA players for the Hong Kong tournament to beef-up the two-month old cadet squad. He is assisted by another former national coach, Joseph Uichico.
Game Recap taken from Jude Roque's Sharp Shooter column in Yahoo! Philippines.
Blatche Andray 211-F/C-86 Xinjiang FT Jayson Castro William 180-PG-86 Talk N Text Gabe Norwood 196-G/F-85 Rain or Shine June Mar Fajardo 210-C-89 San Miguel Beermen Japeth Aguilar 206-C-85 Barangay Ginebra Ranidel deOcampo 197-F-81 Talk N Text Terrence Bill Romeo 180-PG-92&... [read more]
TURKEY over PHILIPPINES, 103-68 Turkey got the more than easy 103-68 win over Philippines in their preparation game in Istanbul. The two teams may face each other in the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament in Manila, Philippines, as they start their games in different groups and if this game can be considered a sample, Turkey is at least in much better condition. Center Semih Erden and forward Baris Hersek with 16 points each were the top scorers of the winners. Furkan Korkmaz who is expe... [read more]
TURKEY over PHILIPPINES, 103-68 Turkey got the more than easy 103-68 win over Philippines in their preparation game in Istanbul.
The two teams may face each other in the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament in Manila, Philippines, as they start their games in different groups and if this game can be considered a sample, Turkey is at least in much better condition.
Center Semih Erden and forward Baris Hersek with 16 points each were the top scorers of the winners. Furkan Korkmaz who is expected to hear his name in the first round of the upcoming NBA draft, returned to Turkey and scored 5 points. Andray Blatche had 23 points for the losing side and Jayson Williams added 15 points.
ITALY over PHILIPPINES, 106-70 Italy got an easy win over Philippines in the first day of the preparation tournament in Bologna. The final score was 106-70 for the hosts and it was flattering for the guests who were trailing 62-15 before the half time.
The first 20 minutes of action ended with a 41 points advantage for Italy (64-23) which got 20 points by Danilo Gallinari in 15 minutes of action, 14 points by Pietro Aradori who came from the bench and 11 by Marco Bellineli.
Philippines was outplayed in every possible way and Andray Blatche with 21 points was as usual the only brightspot for them.
With the two conferences of the Philippine Basketball Association's (PBA) done with the San Miguel Beermen overcoming the odds from a 3-0 deficit in the finals to win the Philippine Cup title in seven games against the Alaska Aces and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters ruling the Commissioner's Cup against the same Aces, another conference is shaping to be one of the most competitive tournaments in recent memory. Returning imports showcases the upcoming Governor's Cup which will have its... [read more]
With the two conferences of the Philippine Basketball Association's (PBA) done with the San Miguel Beermen overcoming the odds from a 3-0 deficit in the finals to win the Philippine Cup title in seven games against the Alaska Aces and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters ruling the Commissioner's Cup against the same Aces, another conference is shaping to be one of the most competitive tournaments in recent memory.
Returning imports showcases the upcoming Governor's Cup which will have its tip-off on July 15.
Asian imports will also be featured in this conference led by the returning Michel Madanly (194-G-81) for the Texters. Phoenix had tapped the services of 6-foot-3 Korean Lee Kwan Hee to bolster its guard-forward rotation.
Here are the complete lineup of reinforcements for all contending teams:
Aris Ignacio is from the Philippines and has always been a big fan of Philippine basketball. Aris' follows the Philippine Basketball Association since the late 80's and has learned the history and personalities of the PBA. He also has interest with other basketball tournaments in the Philippines and beyond most specifically college basketball (UAAP, NCAA), the Asian Basketball League (ABL), FIBA Asia and World Cup tournaments. Follow Aris Ignacio on Twitter at aris_ignacio.
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