Tenorio leads Gilas to gold medal in Jones Cup
MANILA, Philippines - Smart-Gilas Pilipinas are champions of the 34th William Jones Cup.
The Philippines' National Men's Basketball team bagged the first gold medal in the William Jones Cup since 1998 after a come-from-behind win against the USA team, 76-75.
Point guard L.A. Tenorio came up big in the final quarter, including the winning basket, that put Gilas ahead with under a minute left to play. Tenorio led the Gilas comeback after being down by as much as 14 points in the second half. He finished the game with 20 points.
The Philippine team was down by 11 at halftime, 34-23 but valiantly fought back in the second half to secure the victory.
Earlier, Gilas head coach Chot Reyes said he wanted to medal in the tournament but their main focus is building chemistry.
Reyes tweeted a photo of the team after their victory. Despite winning gold, Reyes remains realistic, saying, "While we're happy, we have no illusions."
He recognized that they have yet to face the best national teams and Gilas 2.0 still has a long way to go. He added, "This wasn't easy and so we celebrate."
In a press statement, Reyes said, “This might be the weakest Philippine team, the least prepared, smallest. What it has got is a big heart.”
CHAMPIONS!!!! twitter.com/coachot/status…— Chot Reyes (@coachot) August 26, 2012
PLDT and Smart chairman Manny Pangilinan, who recently joined social networking site Twitter, also tweeted his elation over the team's win.
Great job Team! Well done Coaches! Saya! Go Gilas! Go Pinas!— Manny V. Pangilinan (@iamMVP) August 26, 2012
Smart-Gilas Pilipinas will see action next in the 4th FIBA Asia Cup that will be held from September 14 to 22, 2012 in Tokyo, Japan. - Rappler.com