MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – Smart Gilas Pilipinas withstood Chinese Taipei’s fourth-quarter run to hack out a 75-68 win and secure a semifinal seat in the 4th FIBA Asia Cup on Thursday.
|Smart Gilas' Jared Dillinger battles it out against Chinese Taipei in their quarterfinal game. The Philippines won, 75-68, to face Iran in the semifinal round. Fibaasia.net
Naturalized citizen Marcus Douthit topscored Gilas with 19 points. He also registered 18 boards to help the Philippines continue its mastery over Chinese Taipei.
LA Tenorio, the star of Gilas' victory over Chinese Taipei in the recent Jones Cup, poured cold water over the Taiwanese's scorching 11-0 run by calmly sinking his shots from the stripe.
Apart from his free throws, Tenorio also gunned a three-pointer and a follow up inside the paint for a total of nine points, all in the fourth quarter.
“I just found some open shots and took them. And they went in,” Tenorio said in Fiba Asia's official website.
“It wasn’t planned and you can plan such shots,” he added.
Gilas coach Chot Reyes said Tenorio just did what's expected from him. "He delivers whenever we look to him,” Reyes said.
The Filipinos were enjoying a 38-32 half time lead on Gary David three-pointers, when Chinese Taipei’s Douglas Creighton began connecting from down town to help swing the momentum to Taiwan, 53-52.
A buzzer-beating put back by Ranidel de Ocampo brought the lead back to Gilas 54-53 going into the final quarter.
Gilas was already enjoying a 71-57 advantage three minutes left in the final quarter when the Taiwanese squad unleashed an 11-0 blitz to come within five points, 71-66.
Fortunately, the Filipinos were able to force the Taiwanese to commit a turnover, sending Tenorio to the stripe 36 seconds left.
Tenorio sank both of his free throws to give the Filipinos a 73-66 breather.
Jeffrei Chan sealed the deal for Gilas with an easy lay up following Gabe Norwood’s steal.
David finished the game with 14 points.
Creighton led Chinese Taipei with 21 markers.
The Philippines will next face Iran in the semifinal round on Friday.