Gilas edges Iraq for bounce back win in Jones Cup

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Gilas Pilipinas turned the pages after a cold outside-shooting night as they outlasted Iraq, 84-75, in the 2017 William Jones Cup on Thursday, July 20 at the Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium in Taiwan. 

The Philippine team trailed the first few minutes of action, but slowly got their offensive groove humming in the second quarter to establish a 14-point cushion at the half.

Iraq tried to maneuver a comeback in the second half when it went within striking distance at 73-79 in the final minute, but Gilas held its own defensively and successfully converted from the charity stripe to put the game away. 

The national squad shot a bit better from the 3-point area than they had last night, going 7-of-21 from downtown a night after shooting just 1-of-26 in a loss to South Korea. 

Mike Myers produced another double-double night for Gilas with 16 points and 16 rebounds, while Kiefer Ravena and RR Pogoy added 13 and 12, respectively.

Carl Bryan Cruz and Jio Jalalon had 10 markers apiece, while Matthew Wright contributed 8.

Meanwhile, Iraq’s reinforcement Demario Mayfield went perfect from the two-point range and put up a game-high 29 points to go with 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 6 steals.

With the win, the Philippines now rises to a 4-2 record and stays in the hunt for a medal finish. 

Gilas will attempt to make it two in a row when it faces Lithuania on Friday, July 21 at 3 pm. – Rappler.com