Smart Gilas Pilipinas stuns Team USA, wins Jones Cup TitlePosted on August 27th, 2012 under Sporting Gold
Smart Gilas Pilipinas
Underdog Smart Gilas Pilipinas showed the heart of a champion rallying back from an 8-point deficit in the 4th quarter to upset the United States, 76-75, and win the 34th William Jones Cup Basketball Tournament in Taipei.
It was the Philippines fourth Jones Cup championship, but first since 1998.
Anchored by the brilliance of the smallest man on the court in LA Tenorio, the Philippines coached by Chot Reyes finished the tourney with the Gold Medal and a 7 win 1 loss record, beating heavyweights Iran and Taiwan and the United States.
Tenorio scored five straight points, including a big three at the start of the final 10 minutes. And when Gabe Norwood made a crucial triple, Tenorio scored on the run as the Philippines came to within one at 62-63, from as high as 51-59.
A triple by Tenorio and a basket off a spin move sandwiched two baskets by Marcus Douthit, before the Alaska sentinel scored on a dazzling spin move to give Smart Gilas a 72-70 lead, with 2:24 remaining.
A triple by James Justice edged the US in front, 73-72, but Douthit answered and Tenorio nailed an 18-footer off a screen by the 7-foot Gilas slotman as the nationals regained the lead for the final count.
After the Americans missed, Tenorio grabbed the rebound to cap his game-long brilliance and give the cheering, flag-waving Filipinos in the crowd the last laugh after the Chinese Taipei fans kept rooting for team USA, which at the beginning of the game appeared cocky, but were rattled when Tenorio got his game going.
The US opened the game with a 6-0 run, before Smart Gilas regrouped and answered with a 10-0 salvo of its own, anchored on back-to-back triples by Chan.
The Americans, who were missing some of their outside shots, clawed back with a 5-0 run on baskets by the backcourt tandem of 6’4” Wayne Arnold and 6’5” Mychal Kearse to grab a one-point lead 13-12 at the end of a low-scoring first quarter.
Iran, the 2007 and 2009 FIBA Asia champion, placed second at 6-2 with the US coming in at 5-3.
Smart Gilas Pilipinas 76 – Tenorio 20, Chan 18, Douthit 17, Fonacier 9, Norwood 5, David 5, De Ocampo 2, Thoss 0, Mercado 0.
United States 75 –Arnold 17, Justice 17, Marshall 14, Barnes 13, Dearman 10, Vandermeer 2, Reese 0, Williams 0.
Quarterscores: 12-13, 23-34, 51-59, 76-75