Gilas Pilipinas vs. Chinese Taipei Blue is the main event for Day 2 of the 39th William Jones Cup. Gilas Pilipinas are the defending champions but they dropped their opening game against Canada. On the other hand, Chinese Taipei Blue, the first team of the Chinese Taipei, is coming off a win against Japan.
The Philippines had a slow start in their first game but they managed to make it close against the Canadians at the end of the first quarter. However, Gilas Pilipinas showed their lack of chemistry as they fell apart in the second quarter. Canada, consisting of players from 3D Global Sports, never looked back as they won the game 90-77.
Kiefer Ravena was the lone bright spot for Gilas Pilipinas against Canada, per InterAksyon. Ravena came off the bench to score 12 points, grab five rebounds, dish out three assists, and come away with three steals. Only two more players reached double-digits in scoring for Gilas Pilipinas, Bobby Ray Parks and Carl Bryan Cruz.
Parks had 11 points, five boards, two assists, and three steals while Cruz added 10 points in 13 minutes. It was a lackluster performance for Gilas Pilipinas as they gave up a whopping 26 fouls and committed a total of 22 turnovers.
Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes told the media after the game (h/t SPIN.ph) that his team needs better shooting and defense for their next game. Reyes also believes that Gilas Pilipinas need to cut back on their fouls if they want to defend their title.
"Our game could use a lot better shooting, better defense but that's the reason we're here - to grow and improve. You can't win a game giving up 40 free throws against a quality side like that."On the other hand, the Chinese Taipei had an easy 86-65 victory against a Japan team that only fielded their reserve team. Yi-Hsiang Chou led Chinese Taipei with 22 points and three rebounds while naturalized center Quincy Davis III added a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Gilas Pilipinas, the defending William Jones Cup champions had a perfect 8-0 record last year but they had a much different roster now. Last year's team consisted of foreign players from Mighty Sports of the Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League. The current 17-man Gilas Pilipinas roster for the 2017 William Jones Cup is composed of the top prospects in the country led by Kiefer Ravena and Bobby Ray Parks.
Filipino phenom Kobe Paras is also part of the team as well as import Michael Myers. The only members of the 2017 SEABA team included in the lineup are Roger Pogoy and Matthew Wright. As for Chinese Taipei Blue, they are one of the favorites since they have their first team and the home court advantage.
Gilas Pilipinas vs. Chinese Taipei Blue is set to happen on Sunday, July 16 at the Taipei Peace International Basketball Hall in Taipei, Taiwan. Tip-off is at 4:00 a.m. Pacific Time, 7:00 a.m. Eastern Time and 7:00 p.m. in Taiwan. Fans who want to watch Gilas Pilipinas vs. Chinese Taipei Blue can catch the game via live stream at Sports5 Live.
[Featured Image by Joseph Nair/AP Images]