Gilas Pilipinas continued its impressive showing as it mauled Japan 75-60 on Wednesday in the 2015 William Jones Cup being held at the Xinchuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City, Taiwan.
The win enabled the Philippines to join Taiwan-A and Spartak Primorye-Russia in the No. 2 spot with 3-1 record. Gilas Pilipinas earlier defeated Taiwan-A (77-69) and Spartak Primorye-Russia (85-71) then lost to South Korea (70-82).
Gilas Pilipinas posted a 17-point lead (67-50) on Ranidel De Ocampo’s booming triple with less than two minutes left.
Four Gilas members finished in double figures led by Terrence Romeo’s 16 points on top of four rebounds and two assists.
De Ocampo, Jayson Castro and Filipino-Tongan Moala Tautuaa got 10 points each while Gabe Norwood contributed nine and Gary David added eight.
The Filipinos scored 34 points in the paint, had seven-second chance points, and got nine points from opponent’s turnover. They also had 40 shooting percentage accuracy from the field compared to the Japanese’ 37.7 rate.
Calvin Abueva grabbed nine boards to lead the country’s 49-rebound domination in the shaded area, way better than Japan’s 35 rebounds.
Gilas Pilipinas will have its hands full against powerhouse Iran today at 1 p.m.
The Iranians fell to a 4-1 card as US Select-Overtake handed their first loss via an 81-66 demolition.
Calvin Warner sizzled with 34 points, 13 rebounds and five assists while Cory Bradford and Marquin Chandler contributed 15 and 10, respectively, as US Select-Overtake improved to 2-3 card.
Three-time Asian Championship Most Valuable Player Hamed Haddadi did not play against US Select-Overtake leaving Lalehzadeh Yonas in front, whose 12-point output was not enough to lift the reigning FIBA Asia champions.
Nonetheless, Iran is still on top followed by Taiwan-A and Russia with the same 2-1 mark.
After Iran, the Philippines faces Wellington Saints-New Zealand on September 4 (1 p.m.), US Select-Overtake on September 5 (7 p.m.) and Taiwan B on September 6 (1 p.m.).
The team with the most number of wins after the single round robin will be declared as champion.
The country’s participation in Jones Cup serves as buildup for the 2015 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asia Championship Olympic Qualifying scheduled on September 23 to October 3 in Changsha, China.