No Blatche? No problem as Gilas opens Jones Cup with win over Taipei A

Miguel Morenatti/AP (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

TAIPEI--Two years after getting shocked at home, Gilas exacted a revenge of sorts on Chinese Taipei-A as the Philippine team turned back the Taiwanese side, 77-69, to kick off its Jones Cup campaign at the Xinchuang Gymnasium on Sunday night.

Gilas, playing All-Filipino as naturalized center Andray Blatche attended family matters back in the United States, completed a sort of get back at Taipei A, whose nucleus formed the 2013 national team that stunned the Philippine squad in the FIBA Asia Championship in Pasay, by stealing the road win through a fourth quarter run led by Terrence Romeo.

Romeo finished with 18 points, while Jayson Castro added 16 for Gilas, which actually opened a huge lead in the first half only to be overcome by Taipei in the third.

Quincy Davis and Chen Shih-Chieh each tallied 12 markers for Taipei A, which lost steam in the last ten minutes and lost for the second straight time in the tournament.