Gilas Pilipinas bounces back

Gilas Pilipinas’ Kiefer Ravena celebrates after nailing a dagger three-pointer in the closing minutes of the game against Chinese Taipei Team A at the Taipei Heping Gymnasium on Sunday night.

MANILA — A day after a loss to powerhouse Canada, Gilas Pilipinas showed its full might with a crushing 88-72 victory over the Chinese Taipei A (Taiwan Blue) in the 39th Jones Cup at the Taipei Heping Gymnasium in Taipei Sunday night.

Showing energy and cohesion missing in their last game, the Gilas boys shone on both ends of the court with their firepower and aggressive defense to nail their first win in the tournament after suffering a 77-90 hearbreaker against Canada.

Fil-German Christian Standhardinger and Fil-Canadian Matthew Wright paced Gilas with 17 points apiece. The 6’8” Standhardinger also dominated the paint, hauling down 15 rebounds.

Starting guard Kiefer Ravena also stood out, finishing with 15 markers, 8 boards, and 4 assists.

Roger Pogoy added 10 points while reinforcement Mike Myers chipped in 9.

Gilas raced to an early 10-point lead in the first half, warding off successive rallies by the Taiwanese.

With Gilas ahead, 40-30, the Taiwanese unleashed a 10-0 to tie the score. But Mike Tolomia, who was inserted in the Gilas roster just before the game, hit back-to-back jumpers to spark a closing 7-0 run for Gilas, 47-40, to end the first half.

Cheered by their home fans, the Taiwanese kept on trying to come back in the game, but the Gilas boys kept their poise. A buzzer-beating three-pointer by Ravena that gave Gilas an 80-69 lead with 3:17 remaining broke the Taiwanese hearts.

Another Ravena basket and two Standhardinger freethrows padded Gilas’ lead to 84-69, silencing the home crowd.

Gilas will next face the other home team, Chinese Taipei B, Monday.

Sunday other results: South Korea bt India 92-67; Iraq bt Japan 79-70; Canada bt Lithuania 102-99; Iran bt Chinese Taipei A 77-59.

Games Monday:

Lithuania (1-1) vs. Japan (0-2), Iraq (2-0) vs. Canada (2-0), Gilas Pilipinas (1-1) vs. Chinese Taipei B (0-2(, Iran (1-1) vs. South Korea (2-0) and Chinese Taipei A (1-1) vs. India (0-2).