After beating Jordan, the Smart Gilas Team Pilipinas proceeded to beat the unbeaten Japan yesterday. The final score of the game yesterday was 83-76, in favor of Gilas.
Due to that big win of Smart Gilas against Japan they were able to catch the attention not only of their Filipino fans, but also the attention of the other basketball enthusiasts all over the world. Their story in the current FIBA Asia Championship has been labeled as a Cinderella story. From being a push over in the last 5 years of the tournament, Philippines is now a legit contender to win the gold medal this year.
Just like their game against Jordan wherein they limited Sam Daghles to a dismal scoring output, they were also able to do the same against Japan's primary scorer Takuya Kawamura. Takuya only had 12 points because our wing men defenders Chris Lutz and Marcio Lassiter did an excellent job in defending him. Chris Lutz took it upon himself to defend well against Takuya. Lutz even fouled out of the game because of his tight defense against Takuya. Marcus Douthit also did an excellent job in defending against the Takeuchi brothers, Kosuke and Joji. Marcus bullied his way against them. They even went into foul trouble because of Marcus inside aggressiveness. Japan's head coach couldn't help but to put the Takeuchi brothers into their bench because they went into an early foul trouble. To sum it all up, their terrific defensive performance from the first quarter up to the final buzzer was the main factor why Japan succumbed to their first defeat in the tournament.
With regard to Gilas' scoring, the reigning PBA MVP Jimmy "The Mighty Mouse" Alapag, Marcus Douthit, Kelly Williams, and Marcio Lassiter were the ones who stepped up. Kelly started the scoring party using his patented strong jump hooks and ferocious dunks. He had 12 points in this game. Marcio Lassiter for the second time around fired three pointers as if he was shooting free throws. I really like his shooting stroke. It looks very comfortable and very accurate. He had 15 points in this game. Jimmy also made crucial three pointers to help Gilas maintain their lead in the 4th quarter when Japan was making a mini run. Marcus as usual held the fort for Gilas. He was the anchor that kept the inside dominance of Gilas afloat. He had 25 points in this game. He also had several rebounds that merited him a double-double performance.
Here are the scores:
1.Smart Gilas Team Philippines vs. Japan Game Replay In The FIBA Asia Championship 2011 Last September 20, 2011
2.FIBA Asia Championship 2011 Team Standings