Gilas defeats USA for fifth Jones Cup win

Ryan Songalia
Gilas defeats USA for fifth Jones Cup win
Gilas Pilipinas overcomes a determined challenge from USA Select-Overtake to win their 5th game at the William Jones Cup

MANILA, Philippines – It may not have been the Dream Team, but Gilas Pilipinas got the job done against USA Select-Overtake with a victory, 78-74, on Saturday, September 5 at the 37th William Jones Cup in Taipei, Taiwan. The win raises Philippines to 5-2 with one game remaining in the tournament while USA drops to 3-4.

Gilas, which was without point guards Terrence Romeo, Jimmy Alapag and Jayson Castro, relied on Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Gabe Norwood to bring the ball up the court. Calvin Abueva provided a spark of energy early on, scoring 10 points in the first half. He finished with 20 points and 8 rebounds, while Gary David and Sonny Thoss contributed 13 each.

Veterans Ranidel De Ocampo, Asi Taulava and Dondon Hontiveros each chipped in 7. 

Among the US team were 3 former Philippine Basketball Association imports (Marquin Chandler, Jameel Watkins and Calvin Warner) plus former Los Angeles Clippers center Keith Closs.

Hontiveros, who had scored 11 points in overtime the night before in a win over a New Zealand squad, iced the game with two free throws with 2.35 seconds remaining, followed by another pair from Abueva after a foul on an inbounds pass. USA had one final trick up its sleeve after a full-court pass that was alley-ooped in taps style by Cory Bradford.

Gilas will wrap up their play at the Jones Cup on Sunday against Chinese-Taipei B at 1 pm. Iran, which finished with a 7-1 record, clinched the Jones Cup title earlier today with a 78-54 win over Russia. A win for Gilas would secure them a silver medal. –

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