MANILA, Philippines – Smart Gilas Pilipinas is coming home with another championship, after it bagged the 19th Super Kung Sheung Cup Sunday afternoon, January 27 with a decisive 81-77 win over the Southern Californian Fukienese Association (SCFA) in Hong Kong.
Marcus Douthit recorded a double-double, scoring 19 points and grabbing 20 rebounds to lead the Filipinos, while the team’s elder statesman, Gary David, dropped in 14 points in 15 minutes of action. Kevin Alas was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
It was a comeback victory for Smart Gilas, who trailed 45-40 at the half, and outscored SCFA 41-32 in the second half to secure the championship.
Smart Gilas held SCFA to 33% shooting throughout the game, enforcing its will on the defensive end around the perimeter, which limited SCFA to 4-for-19 from 3-point range.
Guard Trayvonte Britt scored 18 points for SCFA, which forced 19 turnovers out of Smart Gilas.
Winning the 19th Super Kung Sheung Cup will give Smart Gilas some momentum heading into 2013 as it prepares for the FIBA Asia Championship, which will be held in Manila this August.
But the national team has a long way to go if it wants to truly go toe-to-toe against Asian powerhouses Iran and China.
Gilas needs to improve its ball control heading to the championships. Over its last two games, Smart Gilas has turned the ball over 35 times. In both games, the team has racked up more turnovers than assists -- not the best strategy heading into matchups against teams that boast players with formidable NBA experience.
The sooner the roster for the FIBA Asia Championship is determined, the better, giving Gilas more time to establish the necessary chemistry to go into battle against the best teams in Asia.
Smart Gilas – Douthit 19, David 14, Alas 13, Lanete 12, Elvin Pascual 8, Ronald Pascual 5, Melton 3, Slaughter 3, Cañaleta 0, Chan 0, Garcia 0,
SCFA – Britt 18, Der 15, Curtis 14, Kalb 9, Ajufo 8, Moton 7, Goodrich 6, Koo 0, Lai 0, Lo 0 - Rappler.com