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Gilas Pilipinas falls to Canada in Jones Cup opener

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 7/16/2017 Tordecilla, Jaemark
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A young Philippine squad fought valiantly before bowing to a crack Canada squad, 90-77, in the opening day of the William Jones Cup basketball tournament in Taiwan on Saturday.

Gilas Pilipinas, composed of PBA rookies, top amateur names such as Kobe Paras, Kiefer Ravena, and Ray Parks, and reinforced by import Mike Myers and Filipino-German big man Christian Standhardinger, had a solid first quarter, taking a 20-19 edge against their much-taller foes.

But poor shooting and a slew of turnovers caught up with coach Chot Reyes' side in the second period, as Canada took a 44-34 lead heading into halftime.

Gilas shooters continued to struggle to find daylight against the long-limbed defenders of Canada, who extended the lead, 66-54, at the end of the third quarter.

Filipino-Canadian deadshot Matthew Wright caught fire to begin the final period, scoring six points in less than two minutes to put Gilas within eight points, 68-60.

But Canada responded with nine straight points to take a 77-60 advantage. That proved to be too much for the Gilas youngsters to overcome.

They won't have much time to lick their wounds, as they will be back on the court to face the A squad of home team Chinese Taipei on Sunday night. The Philippines, which is using the Jones Cup to prepare for a pair of tournaments next month, will play nine games in as many days in the 10-team round-robin competition. --JST, GMA News

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