5th FIBA Asia Cup Results
The Philippine national men’s basketball team opened their campaign on a strong note after defeating a plucky Chinese Taipei squad, 78-64, to take the early Group B lead in the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup in Wuhan, China.
Gilas Pilipinas led by as much 16 points but needed a strong final push to finally put Chinese Taipei’s B-team away in the final minutes of the game.
The Filipinos dominated stretches of the game but faltered in the third period, where they surrendered the lead, before righting the ship with a strong fourth quarter that they won, 31-14.
Paul Lee made a successful debut for the Gilas squad, scoring a game-high 18 points alongside four assists while Gary David added 16 to help lead the Philippine cause.
Naturalized center Marcus Douthit held down the fort down low with eight points and 16 big rebounds.
The win bodes well for Gilas as Chinese Taipei looked like the toughest assignment in Group B after they crushed a Rajko Toroman-coached Jordan side by 22 points, 85-63, on opening day.
Chinese Taipei’s naturalized player Quincy Davis III dominated Jordan for 21 points and 17 rebounds but could only post seven points and nine rebounds against the Philippines in this one.
Gilas looked like they would be in for an easy night, scoring the first 10 points of the game with six of those coming from David.
But Chinese Taipei’s Peng Chun-yun found his touch from the outside, knocking down a pair of three-pointers in an 8-0 counter that cut the Philippines’ deficit down to two, 12-10.
The entry of Lee and Ranidel De Ocampo, though, gave Gilas a late boost as they combined to score the last eight points of the quarter to lead, 20-10, with one in the books.
In the second, the Filipinos pushed the lead to as high as 16 points, 35-19, after reserves Garvo Lanete and Jared Dillinger found their range from beyond the arc in a 10-1 run for Gilas.
But they allowed Chinese Taipei to fire off seven unanswered points before LA Tenorio finally ended the drought with a split from the line to close the first half ahead, 36-26.
The Taiwanese then picked things up in the third quarter. They opened by the period scoring eight of the first 11 points as they cut their deficit down to just five.
Later in the third, Lu Chi-min caught fire, scoring nine points, including two three-pointers, in an 11-0 run that suddenly swung the game their way, 50-44.
They outscored the Philippines, 24-11, in the third.
Davis looked like he would begin to take over the game in the fourth, scoring back-to-back baskets that kept Chinese Taipei in the lead, 54-52.
But Gilas finally put things together in the final period as Ranidel De Ocampo kicked off a 13-0 run for the Filipinos.
De Ocampo hit back-to-back baskets, one of them a trey, to score the first five points of the rally before Douthit followed it up with a bucket of his own.
Lee then added three-pointer and David capped it with another long range bomb as the Philippines pushed the lead back up to 11, 65-54, with 4:31 to play.
Chinese Taipei got to as close as six inside the last two minutes but Gilas responded with seven unanswered points to finally ensure the victory.
Gilas Pilipinas (78) – Lee 18, David 16, Tenorio 11, De Ocampo 11, Douthit 8, Dillinger 5, Aguilar 4, Lanete 3, Washington 2, Fajardo 0, Belga 0, Alas 0.
Chinese Taipei (64) – Hu 15, Liu 13, Lu 9, Peng 8, Davis 7, Chen Y. 5, Lee 3, Chen H. 2, Chou 2, Chang 0, Chen K. 0.
Quarterscores: 20-10, 36-26, 47-50, 78-64.
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