Smart Gilas played without Marcus Douthit, but they still gave Mouttahed Tripoli of Lebanon a helluva time in the battle for fifth place. With Garvo Lanete and KG Caaleta waxing hot, the Pinoys almost pulled the rug from under their more seasoned foes for the second time in the past week.
As it turned out, however, the Lebanese managed to hold on to their slim lead and escape with a 77-75 victory. In the other games, Sporting Aramex of Jordan defeated the hometown Al Ahli squad for third place, while Al Riyadi (Sporting Beirut) defeated fellow Lebanese club Sagesse in the Finals to win the title.
The Gilas boys will next leave for the Super Keung Sheung Cup in Hong Kong, which features two club teams from Hong Kong, the national teams of Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, the defending champions Southern California Fukienese Association, and, naturally, the Hong Kong national squad.
It's a bummer, though, that, despite the Philippine Cup already done, only Gary David of Global Port has been confirmed to reinforce the otherwise cadet-laden team. Caaleta, Jay-R Reyes, and Ronjay Buenafe will all return to their mother clubs in the PBA, while Jayson Castro and LA Tenorio, both of whom were included in the original roster for the HK tourney, werent released for Gilas duty.
My beef here is that this would have been the perfect time to get 10-12 PBA players together with Douthit to start getting a feel for the international game in preparation for the FIBA Asia gig in August. Instead, this tournament will serve as the last big preparation for the cadet pool, who will banner the country in the Southeast Asian Games later this year.
That's a great objective, but I still feel that not sending PBA players is a really big missed opportunity. Sayang.
Mouttahed Tripoli (Lebanon) over SMART-Gilas Pilpinas, 77-75 The Smart Gilas cadet team played its best game in the 24th Dubai International Basketball Championship against Mouttahed Tripoli of Lebanon Friday but fell short of repeating over the team it beat in the elimination round to finish the tourney at sixth place. The Nationals, sans Marcus Douthit who sprained his ankle in their quarterfinal match against Sagesse on Thursday, engaged the bigger Lebanese team in a neck-and-neck battle but committed a costly turnover in endgame that blew their chance of pulling off an upset.
With Mouttahed up by just two points and with four seconds left in the game, Gilas made an errant pass off a baseline play that could have tied or even won the game for the Philippine squad. Mouttahed won the battle for fifth place, 77-75. In their first meeting on January 11, Gilas shaded Mouttahed, 79-77.
But despite the absence of Douthit, the young Pinoys showed grit and character in engaging the tough Lebanese club, which led by as much as 14 points in the first half. Mouttahed was ahead, 55-44, by halftime.
But the Nationals caught fire in the third canto as they unloaded six triples, three from KG Canaleta and two from Garvo Lanete, to take the drivers seat at 69-62. The payoff period saw a seesaw battle that had the game tied at 75-all in the last two minutes of play. But Mouttaheds Samer Mochref was able to sneak in a lay-up to give the lead back to the Lebanese.
Lanete finished with 27 markers on six of nine shooting from behind the arc, and eight boards while Canaleta and RR Garcia added 14 points apiece.
We learned a lot from this tournament but more importantly, we learned a lot about the players in the cadet line-up. Not only about their skills, but more importantly about their character and their ability to play when the stakes are high. But its so obvious that the competition here is far more superior than our players. We played against more experienced teams with three imports, said Reyes, who acknowledged the great effort shown by the cadet squad in the game.
Lanete was the most consistent scorer in this tournament for Gilas with 13.8 points per game average followed by Canaletas 12.2.
The cadet team is being groomed for the SEABA tournament and Southeast Asian Games. Some of the key members of the cadet squad will be joining selected PBA players to comprise the Gilas team that will compete in the Hong Kong invitational tournament next week. Expected to be tapped for the tournament are members of the recently crowned PBA All-Filipino champion Talk N Text such as Ranidel De Ocampo, Larry Fonacier, Kelly Williams and Jimmy Alapag. Gilas hopes to qualify for the World Cup next year by winning the Asian championship, which will be hosted by the Philippines later this year
The following piece is a re-post from InterAKTV:
Gary David rejoins Gilas as they gear up for the Super Keung Sheung Cup The SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national team will get a glimpse of the competition from the Southeast Asian region in the 19th Super Kung Sheung Cup International Basketball Invitational Championship this week in Hong Kong.
The Philippines is bracketed in Group B of the competition alongside the national teams of Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Malaysia in the tournament slated on January 22 to 27.
Leading Group A is defending champion Southern California Fukienese Association, an Asian-American squad composed of college players from the United States, along with Thailand national team as well as clubs Changsa Park Lane Snow Wolves and Hong Kong Xinlibao Bulls.
Members of SMART-Gilas led by coach Chot Reyes returned home Sunday after finishing sixth in the 24th Dubai International Basketball Tournament.
The team will leave for Hong Kong on Monday, with Gary David the only new addition to the squad.
The GlobalPort gunner was a member of the SMART-Gilas squad that won the 34th William Jones Cup last year.
Other PBA players who reinforced the national team in Dubai Jay-R Reyes and Ronjay Buenafe of Meralco and KG Canaleta of Air 21 will not be joining the squad in Hong Kong.
Returning to the national team for the weeklong competition are Kevin Alas, Garvo Lanete, RR Garcia, Matthew Rosser, Jake Pascual, Ronald Pascual, Greg Slaughter and Filipino-American recruits Justin Melton and Isaac Holstein.
Reyes said the competition is part of the training of members of the programs cadet pool, who are being eyed to form the core of the SMART-Gilas squad that will compete in the Southeast Asian Games this year.
Naturalized player Marcus Douthit will also join the trip.
The Philippines will take on Indonesia on Tuesday, Hong Kong the following day, and Malaysia on January 24. The top two teams in each group will advance to the crossover semifinal round
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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