MANILA, Philippines – Over 24 hours after getting rattled by an opening day loss to Canada, Gilas Pilipinas regained its bearings and bounced back with a convincing 88-72 win over Chinese Taipei A or Taiwan Blue during the 2017 William Jones Cup on Sunday, July 16 in Taipei, Taiwan.
The Philippines flipped the script with an all-new boost in energy and aggression to set the tone from the get-go. That paved the way for 3-point shots to finally fall and for Taiwan's zone defense to lose its effectiveness.
Matthew Wright found his stroke once again, putting up 17 points off the bench on 4 triples.
Starting guard Kiefer Ravena, whose aggressive and decisive playmaking propelled Gilas from the start, finished with 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Big man Christian Standhardinger was a force, too, inside the paint with 17 markers and 15 boards.
The Filipinos, clearly already settled down in the tournament, quickly built 10-point leads early on and weathered the Taiwanese's 3-point shooting.
Chinese Taipei A threatened many times in the second half but the Philippines managed to squash rallies with timely baskets, ultimately leading by as many as 17 points late in the contest.
Gilas will next face Chinese Taipei B on Monday, July 17. The status of Ray Parks for the game is up in the air after he appeared to have hurt his ankle early in the fourth quarter.
Philippines (88): Write 17, Standhardinger 17, Ravena 15, Pogoy 10, Myers 9, Cruz 6, Ferrer 5, Tolomia 4, Jalalon 3, Parks 2, Paras 0, Belo 0.
Chinese Taipei A (72): Zheng 16, Po-Hsun 14, Yi-Hsiang 13, Davis 11, Cheng 6, Long-Mao 5, Yi-Jie 4, Yu-An 3, Po-Chen 0, Wen-Ding 0, Huan-Ya 0.
Quarter scores: 23-22, 47-40, 67-61, 88-72.