Sunday, 18 September 2011

Gilas toys with Bahrain, advances

Posted by chardyboy on Sunday, September 18, 2011 0 comments


WUHAN, China — The Smart-Gilas Pilipinas advanced into the second stage of the 2001 FIBA-Asia Championship following a 113-71 thumping of winless Bahrain Saturday at the Wuhan gymnasium here.
After a slow start, the national team used a big third quarter behind high-leaping Japeth Aguilar who came off the bench to score 14 of his game-high 21 points in just 15 minutes.
Ahead 51-40 at the half, the 6-foot-9 Aguilar scattered 10 points in a 19-0 blast that gave the Nationals a 70-40 advantage with 5:09 left in the third frame.
Aguilar’s follow-up dunk put the Nationals up by 41 points, 102-61, with four minutes to play.
It was the second win in three games for Smart-Gilas still reeling from a 75-60 defeat Friday night.
Team records will be carried over in the next round of the tournament, with the top three nations in Groups A and B joining together in Group E, while the other top three countries from Groups C and D will be in Group F.
Smart-Gilas Serbian coach Rajko Toroman still used a 10-man rotation as forwards Marcio Lassiter and Chris Lutz have yet to be cleared by FIBA-Asia to play in the tournament, which serves as qualifier to the London Olympics next year.
“We used this game to give confidence to some players,” said Toroman, referring to Kelly Williams, Ranidel de Ocampo and Jimmy Alapag who linked up with the team just a few weeks ago.
“We know we are better team. We didn’t play good in the first half, but in the third quarter we started to play with a good rhythm. The game was over after the third quarter,” Toroman said.
Six other Smart-Gilas players finished in double figures. Marcus Douthit contributed 18 points – all in the first half – with nine rebounds, point guard JV Casio added 15 points, while De Ocampo and Asi Taulava had 13 points apiece.
Guard Chris Tiu and forward Mac Baracael added 10 and 10 points, respectively for the national team, which controlled the boards, 54-15.
Toroman said Aguilar was kept in the bench in the first half to give De Ocampo and Williams playing time at the forward spot.
When he was finally inserted in the third quarter, Aguilar exploded.
“I just want to help the team in anyway. It doesn’t matter if it’s on offense or defense, if I score or get rebounds,” said Aguilar, who also had 12 boards while shooting 8-of-10 from the field and 4-of-5 from the foul line.
“For me it’s a blessing. I was on the bench (in the first half), looking at our opponent I thought, I can outrun them because of my athleticism. Good thing my offense clicked and the momentum just built up,” added the 24-year-old Aguilar.
Meanwhile, the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP) already forwarded the letters from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) affirming that Lassiter and Lutz are Filipinos, to the FIBA main office in Switzerland.
FIBA will decide if the two players are eligible to play in the FIBA-Asia.
“We’re hoping that Marcio and Chris can play in the next round,” said Toroman as the event takes a break Sunday before it resumes Monday for the second round. “If these two players will join us, we’ll be more competitive.”
The Scores:
Smart-Gilas 113 — Aguilar 21, Douthit 18, Casio 15, Taulava 13, De Ocampo 13, Baracael 11, Tiu 10, Barroca 8, Alapag 2, Williams 2.
Bahrain 71 — Malabes 15, Sarhan 13, Mahri 11, Ali 8, Isa 7, Khamis 7, Akber 6, Mubarak 2, Malallah 2.
Quarters: 30-18; 51-40; 86-47; 113-71.


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