Saturday, September 5, 2015
Gilas Pilipinas must win games vs USA, Taipei B to keep Jones Cup title hopes
The Gilas Pilipinas seeks to duplicate a rousing performance in its last outing as it takes on USA-Select Overtake in the 37th William Jones Cup Saturday at the Xinzhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City, Taiwan.
Gilas Pilipinas and the Americans tussle at 5 p.m. live on TV5. (Check this page for Jones Cup schedules and standings.)
The Filipinos are coming off an impressive come-from-behind 92-88 overtime win over New Zealand club Wellington Saints on Friday. Gilas Pilipinas’ ageless veterans Dondon Hontiveros and Asi Taulava carried the cudgels for the Filipinos who rallied from 16 points down.
Hontiveros, 38, turned back the hands of time and exploded for 21 points, including three triples in overtime that completed Gilas Pilipinas’ comeback.
At the age of 42, Taulava provided the muscle and energy for the squad against the Saints. He finished with 12 points and six rebounds while energizing the Filipinos.
To remain in the title hunt, Gilas Pilipinas (4-2) has to win its remaining two games and hope that tormentor Iran loses by a huge margin against Russia earlier on Saturday.
In that scenario, a triple-team tie at 6-2 could occur among Gilas Pilipinas, Iran, Russia and Chinese Taipei A. If that happens, the Filipinos can still take home the crown if it is able to secure the highest quotient among the concerned teams.
USA-Select Overtake (3-3) features a number of American players who once suited up as PBA imports, namely former Marquin Chandler (Purefoods), Jameel Watkins (Shell) and Calvin Warner (GlobalPort).