by Waylon Galvez
TAIPEI — Gilas Pilipinas matched Iraq’s physicality, but cost Fil-German Christian Standhardinger an ejection for crossing the line that marred their 84-75 win in the William Jones Cup last night at the Taipei Peace Basketball Gymnasium here.
Import Mike Myers led Gilas Pilipinas 16 points and 18 rebounds, Kiefer Ravena added 13 points, Roger Pogoy had 12 points and Carl Bryan Cruz contributed 10 points apiece to bounce back from Wednesday’s 83-72 loss to South Korea.
Gilas improved to 4-2, forging a tie for third with the South Koreans, who earlier in the day absorbed a 98-72 defeat to Canada that kept the Philippines in contention to produce a medal finish in the annual tournament.
Canada is on top at 5-1, followed by 4-1 Lithuania, which was playing Chinese-Taipei at presstime and Gilas’ opponent in today’s 3 p.m. match.
Coach Chot Reyes, though, was far from pleased with the way his players carried themselves against the Iraqis.
“I thought we were able to do well (against Iraq), but I don’t like the other stuff,” said Reyes, who was so upset with Standhardinger that he ordered him to return to the locker room, though the 6-foot-8 was thrown out anyway because of two technical fouls.
“There’s a fine line between being tough and playing dirty. That’s not how Gilas play… I don’t care if we lose the game. We’re going to be strong and physical, but we’ll not cross the line,” added Reyes.
Gilas led by as many as 18 points, 67-49, early in the fourth quarter.
Things heated up when the 6-foot-3 Cruz committed an unsportsmanlike foul on Iraq center Navid Khajezzadeh, who is seven inches taller than the Alaska rookie, apparently in retaliation to the incident at the end of the third when the latter floored him with an elbow to the face.
Minutes earlier, Standhardinger got his first technical for hitting Ali Hameed in the stomach with a closed fist. His second came with 4:55 left in the game when he hit Dhulfiqar Al-hchaimi as the players walked back to their respective benches for a TV timeout.
Standhardinger finished with only four points and three rebounds.
Al-hchaimi made three free throws to cut the Gilas lead to 73-61. The closest Iran got was within 79-73 following a three-pointer from Hassan Abdullah with 1:09 left, before Ravena made his free throws for an 81-73 advantage with 43.6 seconds remaining in the game.
“We knew we’re in for a tough fight. We saw their game versus the Team A of Chinese Taipei. They really overpower and used their might,” said Reyes, whose team controlled the boards, 43-28.
“We came in to this game try to do 2 things, (control) rebound and change our approach in the game – playing the East Asian teams to Middle East teams,” added Reyes.
PHILIPPINES 84 – Myers 16, Ravena 13, Pogoy 12, Cruz 10, Jalalon 10, Wright 8, Standhardinger 4, Jose 4, Ferrer 3, Paras 2, Parks 2.
IRAQ 75 – Mayfield 29, Al-hchaimi 17, Abdullah 8, Khajehzadeh 7, Ismael 4, Hameed 4, Alazawi 3, Aljuboori 3, Al-tameemi 0, Talib 0, Hamzah 0.
Quarters: 15-19; 36-22; 63-49; 84-75.