Gilas tops Iran, finishes fourth in Jones Cup

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Mike Myers and Matthew Wright powered Gilas Pilipinas past Iran, 90-82, to notch a fourth-place finish in the 39th William R. Jones Cup on Sunday at the Taipei Peace International Basketball Hall in Taiwan.

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Myers drilled in a huge double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds while Wright chalked 20 markers spiked by three triples to lead the Philippines to the respectable finish with a 6-3 win-loss record.

Christian Standhardinger chipped in 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting and Roger Pogoy drained three treys to add nine markers for the Chot Reyes-mentored squad.

Sajjad Pazrofteh came through with a game-high tying 21 points on top of 14 rebounds and Navid Khajehzadeh contributed 12 markers for Iran, which wound up its campaign with a 4-5 card.

Gilas sped through an 8-0 run to open the tourney’s penultimate game as Pogoy beat the first quarter buzzer with a triple from the right wing to bag a 26-22 lead.

Mike Tolomia went for a tricky drive to the basket, giving the PH5 a 41-35 advantage, before Carl Bryan Cruz sank a three-pointer for a 52-42 cushion at the end of the first half.

The young Filipinos traded shots with the younger Iranians until halfway the third frame but then Wright dished out a pass to a wide-open Myers, who threw down a two-handed slam, and Kiefer Ravena drove for a sneaky layup as Gilas enjoyed a twin-digit game, 70-60, at the 1:20 mark.

The PH 5 posted its largest lead at 81-66 midway the payoff period with big men Myers and Standhardinger combining forces for five unanswered points.

Iran tried to stage a late comeback but Myers once again put up a sensational dunk to put away the game for the Philippines.

Reyes’ wards atoned for their terrible free throw shooting in the previous games as they hit 85 percent from the charity stripe, including an impeccable 13-of-13 in the first half.

JEREMIAH M. SEVILLA

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