TAIPEI -- Around 17 hours after beating a much-stronger local side, Gilas Pilipinas took a lot of doing this time before disposing of another hometown squad yesterday to keep its title hopes alive in the 39th Jones Cup at the Taipei Heping gym here.
The Filipinos needed a strong run towards the end of the fourth period to scuttle a fighting Chinese-Taipei B squad, 93-82, for its second straight victory that sent them back in the championship hunt.
On Sunday night, the Filipinos crushed hosts’ Team A, 88-72, for its first tournament victory, a day after they took a 72-88 beating at the hands of Canada in their opening game.
“If our team lacked energy, we’re nothing. But if we can’t have pace, we’re in trouble,” said Gilas coach Chot Reyes. “We don’t have a low-post threat where we can just dump the ball inside and let him do his thing, so we really need the pace and energy out there.”
“Fortunately, we were able to grind this one out today,” he added.
When danger came for the Filipinos as the Taiwanese crept within two points, 75-77, with still six minutes to go, Roger Pogoy and Jio Jalalon delivered the baskets Gilas needed desperately to send the host squad crashing to their third strsaight defeat.
Pogoy buried a three-pointer and Jalalon scored with a baseline jumper in a telling 11-2 run to restore order, 88-77, with 2:10 remaining and send a big crowd of Filipinos cheering wildly.
Mike Myers finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds while gunner Matthew Wright continued to be a big source of points as he came off the bench to shoot a game-high 21 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the three-point area.
Gilas next faces Japan at 1 p.m. today.
Meantime, Rayray Parks, Jr. sat out Gilas-Chinese-Taipei B game but assured he’ll be good to play the rest of the tournament.
The son of the late PBA import Bobby Parks suffered a Grade 2 sprain on his right ankle in the second half of Gilas’ 88-72 win over Chinese-Taipei A on Sunday. He finished with two points, five rebounds and one assist in 18 minutes off the bench.
The former UAAP MVP is in pain killers and showed up on Monday at Taipei Heping Gymnasium with his ankle in a cast, but he was quick to say that he’ll be ready to play for Gilas’ next game against Japan today.
“May sakit pa rin pero I’m good. I can play tomorrow,” he said.
Ying-Chun Chen led Taiwan White with 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Kyle Barone added 16 markers and 12 boards.
Gilas was quite unsteady in the opening quarter with 6 turnovers but they promptly recovered in the second period and went on to register only 13 turnovers.
Gilas (93) -- Wright 21, Pogoy 15, Myers 14, Jalalon 13, Ravena 10, Ferrer 8, Standhardinger 6, Cruz 6, Paras 0, Daquioag 0, Pessumal 0, Vosotros 0.
Taipei B (82) -- Chen 17, Barone 16, Huang 13, Chen G 9, Lee 8, Chien 5, Wen 5, Liu 3, Fan 2.
Quarterscores: 18-20, 44-44, 69-62, 93-82.