Monday, 7 March 2011

Smart Gilas socks it to Alaska

Posted by chardyboy on Monday, March 07, 2011 0 comments

source: rick olivares

Of course, you realize that this means war.

The Alaska Aces and Smart Gilas National Basketball Team have met roughly eight times in the past two and a half years. That includes PBA stints and scrimmages.

And perhaps the one loss that sticks in Gilas’ craw heading into their Friday match up was their previous encounter last December 4, 2009. Gilas was in the midst of a nightmarish PBA stint that saw their games go from having bearing in the standings to being switched to mere exhibition games. Against the Aces, the nationals were embarrassed 130-99.

“I think we’re a little more wiser and older,” warned Gilas head coach Rajko Toroman while watching the earlier San Miguel-Meralco match.

Aside from their physically being older, Gilas now has a regular import. One who has stayed longer than their previous naturalization candidates and is a solid locker room presence.

And Marcus Douthit, the former Providence Friar who is close to being naturalized, put on the big hurt against the previously undefeated Aces with a powerful 23-point and 19-rebound performance. The Nationals were not only up against a tall and talented Alaska frontline but they were playing the masters of execution.

The two teams battled to a 24-all tie after one quarter before the Aces closed out the half with a 6-0 run behind the strong play by import LD Williams to go up 44-37.

The half did nothing to cool off the rough and tough play on either end of the floor.

The physical play between players threatened to blow up. Sonny Thoss and Douthit got into it. Mark Barroca and LA Tenorio had nothing good to say to one another. Williams jawed with Marcio Lassiter and Douthit. The unexpected display of emotion took Alaska out of their finely tuned game while Gilas, on top of raw aggression, countered with simple execution.

Following a left quarter court swish by Lassiter, Smart Gilas uncorked a blistering 12-0 run behind the outside shooting of Chris Lutz and the drives of Barroca to go up 65-53.

The Aces countered with Tony de la Cruz.

The veteran forward scored six points to spark Tim Cone’s beleaguered squad. With Alaska down by a bucket 72-70, LD Williams was assessed a technical foul of which the nationals’ Jayvee Casio converted for a three-point lead.

Casio’s free throw and Douthit’s two points from the stripe (after missing his first six attempts) gave Gilas a little breathing room. And although LA Tenorio forged overtime at 84-all when he scored on a brilliant layup over Douthit and Lassiter, Gilas refused to fold. They clamped down on defense while Alaska didn’t help any as Thoss lost the ball to Douthit and Williams shot an air ball.

In the end, Smart Gilas prevailed 91-89 to remain unbeaten alongside Rain or Shine at 2-0 while Alaska fell to 2-1.

Smart Gilas 91Douthit 23, Tiu 17, Lassiter 11, Lutz 10, Barroca 10, Ramos 9, Casio 5, Aguilar 4, Slaughter 2, Ababou 0

Alaska 89Tenorio 22, Williams 14, dela Cruz 14, De Vance 11, Thoss 11, Baguio 10, Custodio 3, Borboran 2, Eman 2, Dulay 0


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