Gilas regains shooting touch to beat Iraq

Gilas reinforcement Mike Myers breaks loose for a two-handed slam in the game against Iraq in the 39th Jones Cup in Taipei Thursday night.

MANILA — Gilas Pilipinas rebounded from Wednesday’s tough loss against South Korea with a dominant 84-75 victory over a rugged Iraq squad in the 39th Jones Cup in Taipei Thursday.

After a horrible 1-for-26 shooting from three-point range the other day, the Gilas boys rediscovered their outside firepower, nailing 7 three-pointers in 21 tries, en route to their fourth win in six games.

Although they are out of the running for the title, with Canada (5-1) firmly holding on to the top spot in the standings, Gilas Pilipinas can still salvage a silver or a bronze medal with a victory over Lithuania Friday.

After Iraq went on a 6-0 run to start the game, the Gilas boys started finding their groove later in the first half as Matthew Wright hit back-to-back three-pointers. Roger Pogoy also nailed a trey while Kobe Paras made a highlight-reel play, cutting loose for a dunk, to give Gilas a 36-22 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, Gilas erected their biggest lead at 18 points, 67-49, on a Kevin Ferrer triple.

The Iraqis made their last stand, resorting to hard fouls to try and ruin Gilas’ game, as they cut the Philippines’ lead to 79-73 the final minute.

The Filipinos, however, kept their poise, keeping their defense intact to ward off every Iraqi attempt to turn the game around.

Mike Myers had another double-double game with 16 points and 16 boards as the Philippines outrebounded Iraq, 43-28.

Kiefer Ravena finished with 13 points and six assists in 22 minutes. Pogoy scored 12 while Jio Jalalon had 10 points, four rebounds, and two assists. Carl Bryan Cruz also scored 10 markers, while Wright added 8.

Iraq’s naturalized player Demario Mayfield scored a game-high 29 points to go with 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 6 steals in 37 minutes, that didn’t matter in the end.

Thursday’s other results: Iran def. Japan, 87-78;

Canada def. South Korea, 98-72;

Chinese Taipei-B def. India, 117-87.

With its top long-range gunners firing blanks all day long, Gilas Pilipinas bowed to red-hot South Korea, 72-83, Wednesday.

Wednesday’s other results: Lithuania def. India, 102-79; Japan def. Chinese Taipei-B, 91-86 Canada def. Iran, 105-71.

Games Friday: Canada (5-1) vs. India (0-6),

South Korea (4-2) vs. Japan (1-5), Philippines (4-2) vs. Lithuania (4-2), Iran (3-3) vs. Iraq (3-3), Chinese Taipei-A (3-2) vs. Chinese Taipei-B (2-4).