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Thursday, September 20, 2012

FIBA Asia Cup: Gilas survives Chinese-Taipei, advances to semis versus Iran

The Smart Gilas National Team survived a fourth quarter scare from the Chinese-Taipei team, to emerge with a 75-68 win, Thursday, to advance to the semifinal round of the FIBA Asia Cup, held in Japan.

With Taipei's scoring trickling to a halt, with just four points in the first five minutes of the fourth period, a triple by Gary David had the Philippines up 71-57, 3:51 left in the game.

Taipei saved their best for last though, unleashing a 9-0 run that had their deficit down to 71-66 after a Shih-Chieh Chien basket with 1:52 left. However, Gilas responded by tightening up their defense, forcing a missed triple and two turnovers on Taipei's next possessions. On the offensive end, LA Tenorio, who sparked Gilas' fourth quarter scoring barrage, and Jeff Chan connected to keep their advantage intact as the Philippines held on until the final buzzer.

The Philippines now advances to the semifinal round where they'll play Iran, winners of a 79-37 blowout against Uzbekistan, on Friday.

Marcus Douthit finished with a monster performance of 19 points, 18 boards, two steals and four blocks. Gary David went 4-of-9 from beyond the arc on route to 14 points, and Ranidel De Ocampo chimed in 10 markers and eight rebounds.

Taipei got 21 points from Douglas Creighton, but the entire team shot just 37 percent from the field. At one point they were 10-of-20 from downtown, but they proceeded to miss their last four triples of the game.

A slow start for both sides saw the score stick at 4-all, three and a half minutes left in the first period. A dunk by Gabe Norwood and a score by Marcus Douthit began to create separation for Gilas, but Chih-Chieh Lin knotted things anew at 10 apiece, and then off a turnover by Jared Dillinger, Tsung-Hsien Chang hit a triple with five seconds to go, giving Chinese Taipei the slight lead after ten minutes, 13-10.

A 9-2 run for Gilas starting with 4:46 left in the first half had the Philippines on the cusp of the first double-digit lead in the game, 33-25, after Larry Fonacier charities at the 2:32 mark.

Norwood would miss two freebies of his own though, keeping the door open for Taipei. Lin and Shih-Chieh Chen made the most of that small opening, nailing baskets to make it a six-point game. With Dillinger unable to score off a timeout, Chinese-Taipei found themselves down 38-32 at the break, sticking close to the Gilas squad.

The third period saw Taipei go right for the throat of Gilas, as hot shooting by Douglas Creighton gave his side the lead late, off a triple, 1:17 left in the quarter, 53-52. Attempts to answer back by Jared Dillinger and Gary David missed their mark. An attempt by Hsueh-Lin Lee to add to Taipei's advantage fell short too, leading to a frantic finish that saw Douthit's miss put back in by De Ocampo with two ticks left, 54-53. - AMD, GMA News

The scores:

Philippines 75 - Douthit 19, David 14, De Ocampo 10, Fonacier 9, Tenorio 9, Dillinger 5, Chan 5, Norwood 4, Thoss 0

Chinese Taipei 68 - Creighton 21, Lin 12, S. Chen 11, Tien 7, Wu 6, Mao 4, Chang 3, Lee 3, Tseng 1, Lu 0

Quarter scoring: 10-13, 38-32, 54-53, 75-68

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