Smart Gilas Pilipinas clobbered Japan in a remarkable fashion 94-78 even with the hot shooting of the Japanese in the 3-point area lead by Keijuro Matsui who came up with 8-out-of-8 and finish off with 27 points. But it was in the fourth quarter where the Smart Gilas Pilipinas tighten their defense and stop the bleeding by shutting down the torrid shooting by the Japanese.
Dondon Hontiveros came smoking in offense as he fires away with back to back tres at the same time silencing the hottest man in the court Keijuro Matsui of Japan. His defense proved too much for Matsui and it was that time when the Philippines find its rhythm to beat the Japan National if a promising way. Dondon Hontiveros played his best game in the tournament and a lot of expectations from him to really contribute and help the Smart Gilas Pilipinas national team to achieve its goal to get back on track for Olympics and on FIBA world.
Japan took its tool by showing a lot heart and guts in the first half with its torrid shooting and accurate ball rotation that makes the Smart Gilas Pilipinas do their work to neutralize the Japan offense. It was expected that Japanese will use its quickness and shooting touch to make it successful against the Philippines and they did at least in the first half. But at the end, Smart Gilas Pilipinas consistency and focus prevails and they proved it that they are on the right track to win big time and to considered being one of the contenders in Asia. Because of this win, Smart Gilas Pilipinas will now headed to semifinals against the two time defending champion and asia champion IRAN.
Tonight on the semifinal match facing IRAN, this will be more explosive and it will be a statement for the Smart Gilas Pilipinas if they are really ready for a big battle ahead in FiBA Asia come September by disposing a giving a good fight against the Iranians. This could be the match that will determine on how much maturity that the Smart Gilas Pilipinas developed and how ready they are in big time game.
Very noticeable for the team is their outside shooting, if they can develop and improve this department, it would create some scare from other nations that would include China and other powerhouse in Asia. In Jones Cup 2011, it was totally not a good shooting percentage in terms of 3 point shooting and that gives them disadvantage when the game is close. Shooting is a perennial problem by the Filipinos but if they can develop this in time for FIBA Asia that would certainly make them as one of the contenders to play in the Olympics.
It is time and let us witness the Jones Cup 2011 Semi Finals match between the no.2 and no.3 team the Philippines Smart Gilas vs. I.R. IRAN @ 7pm in Chinese Taipei.
Go Philippines…. Beat IRAN and take home the bacon..