November 23, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Gilas labors past Chinese Taipei-B, 93-82

GILAS Pilipinas chalked up its second straight victory in the 2017 William Jones Cup yesterday, beating Chinese Taipei-Team B, 93-82, but not after having made to work by the hosts at the Taipei Peace International Basketball Hall.

Beat Chinese Taipei’s Team A, 88-72, the previous night, Gilas Pilipinas found itself off the wrong foot to start the contest against Team B and needed to dig deep in the second half to come away with the win.

Good outside shooting from Matthew Wright and Roger Pogoy and a better performance from import Mike Myers as well as steady playmaking from guards Jio Jalalon and Kiefer Ravena did it for the Philippines as it improved to 2-1, good for joint second spot so far in the nine-day tournament.

Chinese Taipei-B came out very spirited in the opening canto behind main man Ying Chun Chen and import Kyle Barone to claim the quarter, 20-18.

Gilas fought back in the second period with Messrs. Wright and Myers leading the charge to force a stalemate, 44-all, at the halftime break.

The Philippine team would go on a 9-0 run to start the third period that put it ahead, 53-44, in the first opening minutes.

But Chinese Taipei-B answered with a 14-7 blitz of its own to narrow its deficit, 60-58, a little past the halfway mark of the third quarter.

Gilas, however, would regain its footing with Mr. Wright once again leading a 9-2 run thereafter to create some distance entering the payoff period, 69-60.

The host team rolled to a 6-0 start in the fourth quarter to cut Gilas’ lead to three points, 69-66.

The two teams went back and forth after that but Gilas continued to seize control.

Chinese Taipei-B trailed by just two points, 77-75, midway into the fourth but that was the closest it could get as the Philippines pulled away to book the win.

Mr. Wright led all scorers with 21 points, going 5-of-9 from beyond the arc, followed Mr. Pogoy with 15. Import Myers had a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Mr. Jalalon had 13 points, five assists and five rebounds while Mr. Ravena finished with 10 points and seven assists.

Chinese Taipei-B, still winless after three games, was paced by the 17 points of Mr. Chen while Mr. Barone had 16 to go along with 12 rebounds.

Gilas next plays Japan (0-3) today at 1 p.m. It will be broadcast live over TV5.