WUHAN, China (26th FIBA Asia Championship): Philippines ran a 26-12 third quarter – which included a 10-0 run which brought them back into the reckoning in the game – that eventually helped them beat Japan 83-76 thus handing the latter’s first defeat in the competition here.
Naturalized center Marcus Douthit (pic above) poured in 19 of his 25 points and collected 12 of his 18 rebounds – both game-highs – in the second half to spark yet another Filipino rally that might have just helped them get a “better cross over draw in the quarterfinals.”
Japan ran the floor hard early and seized the initiative with a 15-0 run that went across the first quarter break.
But a woefully dipping rate of conversion from the foul-line and an increasingly growing in cohesion and cohesion Philippines put paid to the Japanese hopes of remaining undefeated in the competition.
Kelly Williams, one of the PBA imports in the Philippines team sparked a 10-0 run – capped by Marcio Lassiter’s crisp long-ranger – bring the Smart Gilas back into the reckoning.
Japan managed to remain even, but only till a 14-2 run – this time with Douthit leading from the front and Jimmy Alapag setting the Wuhan SC ablaze with a fiery three-pointer – put Philippines in control.
Rajko Toroman’s team never fell back after that.
“The key was we stopped Takuya Kawamura,” Rajko said.
Japan’s most charismatic basketball face in recent face was restricted to a dozen points – six of them in the third quarter – as the Hayabusa struggled with their rebounds and free-throws.
“You can’t think of winning with a 57% conversion in free-throws,” rued Japan coach Tom Wisman.
Japan went to the foul-line 28 times, but only 16 of them were successful.Read More...