• Gilas Pilipinas zaps New Zealand in Jones Cup

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    Sharp-shooter Dondon Hontiveros fired three triples in the extra period to power Gilas Pilipinas to a nerve-wracking 92-88 overtime win over Wellington Saints-New Zealand on Friday in the 2015 William Jones Cup being held at the Xinchuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City, Taiwan.

    Gilas Pilipinas kept its title-bid alive with a 4-2 mark, joining Spartak Primorye-Russia (4-2) and South Korea (4-2) in the second spot behind reigning FIBA Asia champion Iran (5-1).

    New Zealand’s record fell to 2-4.

    The Filipinos clobbered Taiwan-A (77-69), Spartak Primor¬ye-Russia (85-71) and Japan (75-60) but lost to South Korea (70-82) and Iran (65-74).

    Hontiveros finished with 21 points while World Cup veteran Jayson Castro led all scorers with 22 points on top of six assists and a rebound.

    Sonny Thoss and Calvin Abueva delivered 11 each and Asi Taulava added 10 markers.

    New Zealand nailed a 16-point advantage on charities of Bryan Davis, 3:16 left in the third period, 57-41, until Castro and Taulava spearheaded an 11-2 run to cut the lead to just seven, 52-59, going into the final period.

    Castro then sank a layup to tie the game at 78-all with 19.31 remaining in the fourth quarter.

    New Zealand had a clear chance of winning the game but 6-foot-9 Ray Turner missed a potential game-winning jumper that sent the game into overtime.

    Hontiveros then nailed three consecutive shots from beyond the arc and two crucial free throws in the extra period as Gilas Pilipinas completed a come-from-behind win.

    Davis had a 31-point, 14-rebound monster game for New Zealand. Brook Ruscoe chipped in 17, Eric Devendorf scored 14 and Turner got 10 in a losing cause.

    The Philippines had an impressive 71.4 field shooting percentage highlighted by an 11-of-27 clip from beyond the arc while New Zealand had a poor 39.1 field goal shooting. The Filipinos also dominated the paint with 45 rebounds against their counterpart’s 36.

    Gilas Pilipinas will be meeting US Select-Overtake at 7 p.m. today.

    US Select-Overtake holds a 2-3 card including its 81-66 surprised win over Iran on September 2.

    Calvin Warner will be the mark man as he made 34 points and 13 rebounds against the Iranian with Cory Bradford and Marquin Chandler to serve as backups.

    Gilas Pilipinas wraps up its campaign on Sunday against Taiwan-B at 1 p.m.

    The tournament serves as Gilas Pilipinas’ buildup for the 2015 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asia Championship Olympic Qualifying scheduled on September 23 to October 3 in Changsha, China.

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