The two guards of Smart Gilas, Chris Tiu and Mark Barroca scored big as Smart Gilas Team Pilipinas beat Iraq Duhok team with the score of 74-64. Chris Tiu handled the scoring in the first half. He had 11 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists. He was the main reason why Don Don Hontiveros got great looks from beyond the arc. Tiu's passes were on point. He's not only a scorer, he's also a great facilitator. Gilas' offense in this game was as smooth as silk when Tiu is inside the game. Mark Barroca on the other hand had 12 points. Most of his shots came in the fourth quarter wherein Iraq was making a comeback. I consider him as the closer of this game. His twiner killed Iraq's hopes. By virtue of these two great guards, Smart Gilas accumulated 18 assists all in all and they had a 41 percent shooting from the field.
On the defensive side, Smart Gilas's import, Marcus Douthit had 5 blocks and he intimidated the players of Iraq. Asi Taulava also provided the strength that Smart Gilas needed in this game. He was the so-called vanguard of Gilas in the first and second quarters. Because of their strong defense, Iraq only had 6 assists. Iraq's players couldn't see clearly when they attack and pass to their teammates. The passing lanes were clogged by these two big men. These two were able to stop Iraq's import CJ Giles. Giles wanted to beat Gilas because Gilas was his former team. Gilas didn't renew his contract because Douthit came in to replace him. Giles wanted to prove that's he's better than Douthit but he failed his team.
Smart Gilas now have 3 wins and 0 losses. They are leading in the team standings in group A together with Jordan who also have 3 wins and no losses. I'm proud of Smart Gilas because Kelly Williams and Jimmy Alapag didn't play in their last 3 games yet they still beat their opponents. These two reinforcements might play tomorrow in their game against Jordan. Their game tomorrow against Jordan, their arch enemy during the past 2 FIBA Asia Championships is very important. If they win tomorrow they will get a solo lead in group A and they will get to face a weaker opponent in the quarter finals, which is Syria. Syria is number 4 in group B.
Tiu was named the best player of this game. When Riza Diaz was interviewing him, he said that he wants to see more basketball fans watch tomorrow's game. He was inviting all of us to watch them play. If only I could go to Pasig, I would watch them with all my heart. And so, I'm asking all of you, if you have free time tomorrow, let's watch and support our National team. This tournament is just the start of their long journey for the 2012 London Olympics.
For additional information, in the first game Syria defeated UAE with the score of 93-63. Syria's import Samaki Walker, the former LA Laker carried them in this game. In the second game, Lebanon defeated Qatar, 73-78. Fadi El Khatib was the best player for Lebanon.