Gilas Pilipinas and South Korea are going to restart their fierce rivalry on the fifth day of the 39th William Jones Cup. The Philippines and South Korea have identical records heading into their much-anticipated matchup. Gilas Pilipinas boasts a team consisting of their young prospects while South Korea sent their first team in Taiwan.
The Philippines improved their record to 3-1 on Tuesday with a 100-85 victory over Japan’s Team B at the Taipei Peace International Basketball Hall. Christian Standhardinger had another impressive game for Gilas Pilipinas as he put up a monster double-double. He had 22 points, 15 rebounds, two assists, and one steal.
Gilas Pilipinas import Michael Myers also had his second big game of the tournament. Myers had 17 points, 17 rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Three more Gilas players reached double figures in scoring. Matthew Wright had 15 points, one rebound, and four assists while Kiefer Ravena and Jiovani Jalalon scored 11 points each.
Kobe Paras started his first game for Gilas Pilipinas against Japan but he only played 10 minutes. Paras had four points, one rebound, and one block while shooting just 25 percent from the field. The 19-year-old swingman is heralded as the future of Gilas Pilipinas basketball.
According to Rappler, the game was close all game long until Gilas Pilipinas pulled away halfway in the fourth quarter. However, the win apparently came at a price with Jiovani Jalalon missing the final minutes after suffering a left leg injury.
Nevertheless, Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes was unhappy once again after the game. Reyes told the media (h/t SPIN.ph) after the game that he wants to get more out of his young guns against South Korea for Wednesday’s showdown. He added that he liked how his players were able to fend off Japan’s rally and went on to finish the game with a victory.
“There are no such thing as a weak team in a tournament such as this, and that was what I told the players. Japan gave us all we could handle and fortunately, we were able to weather the storm.”
The Philippines have now won three straight games after dropping their first one against Canada on Saturday. Gilas Pilipinas is 3-1 but they are tied with Lithuania and South Korea in the standings. The Filipinos are the reigning William Jones Cup champions.
On the other hand, South Korea is coming off a loss to Lithuania on Tuesday. The South Koreans had their three-game winning streak snapped as Lithuania defeated them by a score of 95-80. Jun-Beon Jeon was the lone bright spot for South Korea. He put up 21 points, three rebounds, three assists, and one steal.
Rising star Seoung-Hyun Lee only had six points in 24 minutes but he added five rebounds, five assists, and two steals. South Korea is surely looking for a strong start against Gilas Pilipinas as they try to win their third William Jones Cup after coming up short last year, finishing second behind the Philippines.
Gilas Pilipinas and South Korea are going to resume their rivalry on Wednesday, July 19 at the Taipei Peace International Basketball Hall in Taipei, Taiwan. Tip-off is at 2 a.m Pacific Time, 5 a.m. Eastern Time and 5 p.m. in Taiwan. Fans can also watch the Gilas Pilipinas vs. Japan game via live stream at Sports5 Live.
[Featured Image by Stanley Chou/Getty Images]