Philippines end 29th Jones Cup with bronze, prepares for the pre-Olympic qualifier

After their consecutive big wins from Iran, Chinese Taipei and last from Qatar 88-80, lady luck slips team San Miguel Pilipinas from her hands as tailender Kazakhstan slammed a vicious 90-107 victory in the last day of the 29th William Jones Cup International Basketball Tournament held in Taiwan.

Jordan, defeated by team Japan in the last day, got their first taste of the gold, meanwhile Lebanon received the silver and the Philippines with a 5-4 record tumbled in fifth for the bronze to tie with USA, Chinese taipei, Iran and Korea.

In their last match, James Yap injured his right ankles after a bad fall in the second half with 5 minutes left in the regulation. He was carried by Asi Taulava out the court.

Team Pilipinas started out strong but after Dondon Hontiveros and Jimmy Alapag both sank two triples in the third half, the game was tied 55-all for the last time. The “Filipinos” (or should I say Fil-Ams) then lost their sparks failing to catch up to Kazakhstan as they stab a shooting fest.

SMC-RP should have won the silver but team Kazakhstan denied it.

Though they failed to end the tournament in a winning streak, SMC-RP proved that they have learned from their mistakes in their games against silver holder Lebanon and the young team of Japan, both of which they should have won.

They have managed to take advantage of their speed thus creating effective combinations in the court, this shows a great foundation on July 28 for the FIBA-Asia which will determine Asia’s representative for the Olympics.

But before the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament in Tokushima, the Filipinos will get an appetizer of the said tournament as the Philippines will host a four-nation invitational with China, Syria and Lebanon from July 12-15.

Team Philippines will face China, Iran and Jordan in Tokushima, thus the road to the “Olympic Dream” begins.

** Danny Seigle was seen sitting at the benches along with team Philippines in their last two games at the 29th Jones Cup. It seems that he had recovered from his injury. If he will take part in the FIBA-Asia, we will have higher chances.


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