Alaska’s Calvin Abueva powered Gilas Pilipinas’ slim 78-74 win over USA-Select Overtake in the 37th William Jones Cup at the Xin Zhuang University Gymnasium in Taipei, Taiwan on Saturday.
Abueva finished with 20 points plus nine rebounds and four steals. Gary David had 13 points and big man Sonny Thoss added another 13 points to bag Gilas Pilipinas’ fifth win in seven games.
Despite the height advantage of the Americans, the aggressive play of the Filipinos prevailed which is evident in the rebounding department—48-41.
Gilas also posted more assists (15-8) and steals (13-5) than the American team.
Corey Bradford scored 19 points while Calvin Warner had 17 points and 16 rebounds for Select Overtake.
The Philippines grabbed the lead at the end of first period 15-13 then beefed it up to double-digit, 40-30, at halftime.
Abueva notched 10 points in the first two periods while his teammates Gary David and forward Ranidel De Ocampo posted a combined 14 points also at halftime.
The 38-year-old Dondon Hontiveros hit a three-pointer then Abueva scored a basket to put Philippines’ lead to a comfortable 51-33 in the early part of third period.
Gilas widened the lead to 66-53 by the fourth period behind JC Intal’s jump shot.
Former Purefoods import Marquin Chandler, who finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds brought the score to 70-66 with only less than four minutes remaining in the game.
Thoss scored back-to-back baskets to extend the Gilas’ lead to 74-66 but he Americans managed to narrow the gap to 71-74 in the closing seconds. But Team USA’s offensive crumbled when Hontiveros and Abueva scored two free throws each in the remaining seconds of the match to seal the win.
Meanwhile, Japan won against Taiwan B 72-55 while Iran beat Russia 78-54.
Gilas Pilipinas will face Taiwan B at 1 p.m. today.