Gi­las falls in opener

Tempo - - Front Page - By WAY­LON GALVEZ

Game To­day 7:30 p.m. – Philip­pines vs Tai­wan-A

TAIPEI – The jour­ney of the new-look Gi­las Pilip­inas be­gan with a sting­ing 90-77 loss to Canada at the start of the Wil­liam Jones Cup yes­ter­day at the Taipei Peace Bas­ket­ball Gym­na­sium here.

The na­tional team, a mix­ture of PBA rook­ies and col­le­giate stal­warts, played hard and sharp but lack of co­her­ence spelled the dif­fer­ence.

Backed by Chooks-To-Go, Gi­las fell be­hind by 13 points a few times in the third pe­riod and in the early part of the fourth frame as Canada dic­tated the flow of the match by us­ing their guile and height.

Through the snip­ing of Filipino-Cana­dian Matthew Wright, Gi­las pulled within 68-60 with 8:50 left.

Wright had an­other op­por­tu­nity to fur­ther cut the Canada’s lead but he missed a pull up three­p­oint shot off a fast break play, and the Cana­dian’s took ad­van­tage of the sit­u­a­tion.

A 7-0 run capped by a twohanded slam dunk by 6-foot-10 cen­ter Michale Kyser from a lob pass by Joey Hay­wood gave the Cana­di­ans a com­fort­able 75-60 lead with six min­utes to play.

Gar­rett Wil­liamson led Canada with 15 points, while Hay­wood, Kyser and Deigo Kapelan each scored 12 points.

For­mer col­lege stand­out Kiefer Ravena came off the bench to lead the Na­tion­als with 12 points, Bobby Ray Parks Jr. added 11 points, and Alaska’s Carl Bryan Cruz added 10 points.

RAVENA READY TO TURN PRO

Mean­time, Kiefer Ravena is close to mak­ing a de­ci­sion to join the com­ing PBA Rookie Draft.

He told Spin.Ph that join­ing the next PBA rookie draft could just be a mere for­mal­ity.

“As far as I’m con­cerned, the only thing left to be done is pass my ap­pli­ca­tion form for the (PBA) draft,” said Ravena. “There are just some peo­ple who would need to know of my de­ci­sion.”

The Philip­pines – rep­re­sented by Mighty Sports – won the ti­tle last year via an 8-game sweep.

To­day will be an­other big test for Gi­las as it faces Tai­wan Team A at 7:30 p.m. and on Mon­day it will tackle Tai­wan Team B at 3 p.m. be­fore fac­ing Ja­pan on Tues­day and Korea on Wed­nes­day.

Gi­las will have no rest day as it tack­les the taller and beefier Iraq on Thurs­day, Lithua­nia on Fri­day, the vastly-im­prov­ing In­dia on Satur­day and bit­ter ri­val Iran on Sun­day.

KIEFER Ravena

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