Hontiveros sizzles in OT as Gilas rallies against Wellington

Ivan Saldajeno (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

TAIPEI--Dondon Hontiveros finished what Jayson Castro and Asi Taulava started as Gilas Pilipinas fought back from a poor second quarter to subdue the Wellington Saints, 92-88, in their Jones Cup meeting at the Xinzhuang Gymnasium on Friday.

The Saints limited the Philippine nationals to only seven points in the second quarter to open a 42-32 halftime lead, eventually extending it to as high as 16 early in the third.

But Castro and Taulava joined forces in leading Gilas' comeback, capping it with Castro's breakaway layup to force overtime.

Hontiveros then came to work in extra time, nailing three straight triples to give Gilas a 90-88 lead with less than a minute left.

The New Zealand-based club failed to convert in the next play, and Hontiveros sealed the win with two charities.

Hontiveros finished with 21 points, 11 in overtime, along with five rebounds and two assists, while Castro had 22 markers and six dimes for Gilas, which will likely welcome back Andray Blatche in its Saturday affair with Team USA select led by former Purefoods import Maqruin Chandler.