Gilas Piipinas defends home court despite tough challenge from Taipei
Paul Lintag on Nov 27, 2017 09:24 PM
Kiefer Ravena helped spark Gilas Pilipinas' rally as the Philippine national team defended home court against Chinese Taipei in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
MANILA, Philippines --- It took them three quarters to figure it out but Gilas Pilipinas made sure home court is defended well.
The Philippines used another brave fourth-quarter stand to score a second straight victory in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, this time a 90-83 decision over Chinese Taipei Monday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Holding on to a one-point lead entering the final 10 minutes of play, Jayson Castro ran the Gilas offense to near perfection in the payoff period as the Philippines survived a strong challenge from the visiting Taiwanese.
The Blur fired 12 points in the fourth and added a pair of dimes as Gilas finally managed to pull away from a pesky Taipei side. He ended up finishing with a total of 20 markers on 58 percent shooting on top of four rebounds and four assists to lead the Philippines anew.
"Jayson is Jayson. We know exactly what he brings," head coach Chot Reyes said of his prized point guard.
Aside from Castro, Matthew Wright was also sensational for Gilas in the fourth quarter as the Fil-Canadian sniper drilled three treys, half of the team's entire output, on his way to 11 points.
Making its first homestand in the Asian Qualifers, Gilas Pilipinas got off to a terrible start as Quincy Davis III led Taipei to a sizzling 17-3 start.
However, the second unit, led by June Mar Fajardo, Calvin Abueva, RR Pogoy, and Kiefer Ravena managed to help the Philippines recover and the national team took over at the half, 44-42.
Fajardo recorded a new FIBA career high of 17 points, nine in the opening half, to go along with eight rebounds and two blocks. More than his scoring, Fajardo's best work was his play against Davis as he forced the Taipei reinforcement to foul trouble, limiting his effectiveness after the opening period.
"I thought June Mar saved us. We got off to that terrible start but you know, it's a big luxury for us to know that we've got a guy like June Mar coming off the bench," Reyes said.
Ravena was also productive in his second FIBA game with the senior national team. With Castro struggling early, the Phenom came in and sparked Gilas' second quarter rally and was already up to seven points and three assists at the break. He finished with nine points and a team-high five dimes.
Finally, the bench mob was completed by Pogoy and Abueva who came away with 11 and seven points respectively. Both players also finished with the highest +/- rating for Gilas Pilipinas with Pogoy a team-high plus 18 in almost 28 minutes while the Beast was plus 15 in 20 and a half minutes.
For Taipei, who dropped to 0-2 after a loss to Australia, Davis led the way with 20 points and nine rebounds but he fouled out late in the fourth. Yi-Hsiang Chou added 17 while Jhen Huang was good for 16 points.
Gilas Pilipinas will start the second window of the first round on the road against Australia on Feb. 22, 2018 before hosting Japan for another home game three days later.
PHILIPPINES 90 – Castro 20, Fajardo 17, Wright 11, Pogoy 11, Ravena 9, Abueva 8, Blatche 6, Norwood 5, Aguilar 3.
CHINESE-TAIPEI 83 – Davis 20, Chou Y. 17, Huang 16, Liu 7, Tsai 6, Lee 6, Chou P.C. 4, Chou P.H. 3, Chen 2, Chiang 2, Hu 0, Lu 0.
Quarters: 18-23; 44-42; 65-64; 90-83.
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