Asian Games

Cone ‘proud’ as Gilas Pilipinas puts clamps on Jordan en route to Asian Games gold

Delfin Dioquino

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Cone ‘proud’ as Gilas Pilipinas puts clamps on Jordan en route to Asian Games gold

PROUD MOMENT. Gilas Pilipinas players celebrate after winning gold in the 19th Asian Games.

Marko Djurica/REUTERS

Gilas Pilipinas limits Jordan to its lowest scoring output in the Asian Games as the Philippines captures its first gold medal in the continental showpiece since 1962

MANILA, Philippines – Defense proved to be Gilas Pilipinas’ bread and butter in the final against Jordan on the way to ending its decades-long title drought in the Asian Games.

The Philippines limited Jordan to its lowest scoring output in the tournament and pulled off a 70-60 win in Hangzhou, China, to capture its first gold medal in men’s 5-on-5 basketball since 1962 on Saturday, October 7.

Jordan averaged 86.8 points as it won all of its first five games, including a 25-point rout of the Filipinos back in the group stage, en route to the final but shot a dismal 26% from the field with the championship at stake.

The Nationals made the necessary defensive adjustments in the rematch, but it also helped that the Jordanians missed a bunch of their open shots.

“We played differently than we played the first time around. We caught Jordan on a bad shooting night and we were kind of hoping that they would not shoot the ball well,” said coach Tim Cone in a post-game interview posted by Radyo Pilipinas Sports.

Jordan star Rondae Hollis-Jefferson still finished with a team-high 24 points on top of 12 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals, but the Filipinos made him work for each shot.

Hounded by Chris Newsome and Justin Brownlee for most of the game, Hollis-Jefferson muffed 21 of his 29 field goals.

Gilas Pilipinas also put the clamps on Sami Bzai, Ahmad Al Dwairi, and John Bohannon, who all scored in double figures in their first encounter.

This time, Dwairi put up 8 points (2-of-9), Bohannon tallied 4 points (1-of-6), and Bzai got contained to 2 points (1-of-4) after draining three triples against the Philippines in the group stage.

“I thought we did a good job of covering Bzai and not letting him get too many looks. That was one of the keys,” said Cone.

Criticized for his sloppy play in the previous game, Ange Kouame turned in his finest performance for Gilas Pilipinas as he disrupted the Falcons’ offense to the tune of 5 steals and 2 blocks to go with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

“Our guys were really disciplined tonight. I’m really proud of them,” said Cone. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.