RP loses final game to Kazakhs, settles for 3rd

Kazakhstan continued its dominance of the RP team, routing the nationals 107-90 in the 29th William Jones Cup men’s basketball tournament in Taipei. The Kazakhs are now 4-0 against the Philippines dating back to the Busan Asian games. The RP team finished the tournament 5-4 W-L tied with 4 others: US (Athletes In Action), Iran, Korea and Chinese Taipei (host) but grabbed 3rd place by virtue of a superior quotient and having beaten all four teams. Jordan (7-2) and Lebanon (6-3) wound up, 1st and 2nd, respectively.

The RP team’s sluggish performance so infuriated head coach Chot Reyes that he went straight to the team bus instead of the usual post-game huddle with his players, after the game.

“I saw it coming since the second half of yesterday’s game against Qatar. I tried to remedy the situation by practicing early this morning,” said Reyes. “Kazakhstan is a good team. We’ve had a bad record against them. I don’t mind losing to them but not this way. This is unacceptable,” he added, obviously disgusted with the team’s lack of effort on the floor.

“They (the nationals) are confined to the barracks tonight. Nobody visits them. Lights out at 10.”

The team allowed the Kazakhs to score 16 of 44 from behind the arc. The RP team’s gunners, on the other hand, couldn’t keep pace, turning cold (shooting a dismal 9 of 36 or a 20% success rate).

The game was actually nip and tuck at the beginning, with the nationals holding a slim 22-21 advantage at the end of the first quarter. James Yap, who went 1-of-2 from the three-point area, suffered a sprained left ankle after a bad fall with 5:01 left in the second quarter. Yap, who was celebrating his wedding anniversary with TV personality Kris Aquino, was carried out of the court by Asi Taulava. The nationals stretched their lead to six, 40-34, 3:59 left in the 2nd but a 12-2 blast by the Kazakhs put them on the driver seat 46-42. Jay-jay Helterbrand closed out the half by hitting one of two free throws, 43-46.

It was a see-saw affair until the end of 3rd with the Kazakhs only holding a four-point edge at the end of third 76-72 but a 12-2 bomb at the start of the final quarter by the Kazakhs put the game away 88-74. The nationals did not recover after that.

KAZAKHSTAN 107 – Y. Rustam 28, P. Anton 23, T. Alexandr 12, Y. Issakov 11, Y. Mikhail 10, S. Andrey 10, K.Dimitriy 7, B. Yegor 6, N.Ivan 0, S. Artyom 0, M.Voyeikov 0, G. Dimiriy 0.
PHILIPPINES 90 – Caguioa 24, Alapag 21,Hontiveros 14,Williams 13, Helterbrand 5, Taulava 3, Yap 3, Ritualo 3, Menk 2, Raymundo 2, de Ocampo 0, Pennisi 0.
Quarterscores: 21-22, 46-43,76-72,107-90