July 17, 2017

- Gilas Pilipinas is coming off a rousing bounce back victory over host Taipei Blue, the country's Team A basketball squad. The way the Pinoys played was the complete opposite of how they played on Day 1 against Canada. Against a smaller team, the Filipinos were able to execute much better compared to Day 1, especially with Canada's length and athleticism no longer bothering them. Matthew Wright got going from long range, Kiefer Ravena dazzled as the team's primary playmaker, and Christian Standhardinger was a whirlwind of energy and hustle on both ends of the floor. If Gilas plays like this again tonight, it could be an early good night for TPE White. Gilas needs to win this one before taking on JPN on Day 4 and rivals KOR on Day 6.
- Speaking of TPE White, they debuted two days ago pretty well, almost pulling the rug from under Korea's national team. They led most of the way against Iran's cadet team last night also before losing steam late in the 3rd quarter till the endgame. There are some really good players on this White team who will one day move up to their Team A, and these are the guys Gilas cannot afford to overlook. The challenge for Gilas here is to continue playing aggressively and at a high level. If they play to the level of TPE White and give the home team a chance to win in the 4th quarter, the Filipinos may be in danger of absorbing loss #2. If they stay energetic and aggressive, though, then they should book win #2.

GILAS PILIPINAS roster & stats from Day 2
Ray Parks, Jr. - 6'4 - 2pts, 5rebs
Kobe Paras - 6'6 - 0pts, 2rebs, 3blks
Mac Belo - 6'3 - 0pts, 2rebs
Fonzo Gotladera - 6'5 - DNP
Von Pessumal - 6'2 - DNP
Almond Vosotros - 5'11 - DNP
Jio Jalalon - 5'10 - 3pts, 4rebs, 3asts, 3stls
Miko Tolomia - 5'11 - 4pts
Ed Daquioag - 6'1 - DNP
RR Pogoy - 6'2 - 10pts, 4stls, 3 triples
Matthew Wright - 6'4 - 17pts, 2blks, 4 triples
Kevin Ferrer - 6'5 - 5pts, 3rebs
Carl Cruz - 6'5 - 6pts, 2 triples
Christian Standhardinger - 6'8 - 17pts, 15rebs, 3asts
Raymer Jose - 6'5 - DNP
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Kiefer Ravena - 6'1 - 15pts, 8rebs, 4asts
Michael Myers - 6'9 - 9pts, 11rebs, 2stls

TAIWAN WHITE (TEAM B) roster & stats from Day 2
Chen Ying-Chun - 6'0 - SG - 14pts, 2rebs, 3asts, 2stls
Liu Ren-Hao - 5'9 - PG - DNP
Lin Yi-Ming - 5'8 - PG - 1pts, 1ast
Hsieh Yu-Cheng - 6'5 - PF - 0pts, 0rebs
Wu Chia-Chun - 5'9 - PG - 4pts, 2rebs, 1stl
Lee Kai-Yan - 6'0 - SG - 4pts, 2rebs
Su Yi-Jin - 6'5 - C/F - 2pts, 2rebs
Chien You-Che - 5'11 - G/F - 9pts, 2stls
Wen Li-Huang - 6'7 - C - DNP
Huang Tsung-Han - 6'4 - F - 5pts, 3rebs
Fan Shih-En - 6'6 - C/F - 1pt
Chen Guan-Quan - 6'6 - F - 4pts, 5rebs
Huang Hung-Han - 6'3 - F - 4pts, 3rebs
Kyle Barone - 6'10 - C - 11pts, 19ebs, 3blks

Game Notes:
- In stark contrast to their first game, Gilas Pilipinas took much better care of the ball here, recording just half of their total against Canada. Jio Jalalon, Mike Myers, and Ray Parks combined for 13 turnovers on Day 1, but they made up for it vs TPE Blue, combining for just 3 TOs. This time around, it was Gilas who forced more turnovers — 15 to be exact — from the Taiwanese.

Gilas Turnovers:
vs CAN - 22 TOs
vs TPE Blue - 11 TOs

Gilas Steals - total of 10
Pogoy - 4stls
Jalalon - 3stls
Myers - 2stls

- Matthew Wright was a huge reason for Gilas's fast start in this game. He waxed hot early on, hitting 3 triples in the 1st half to help put some separation between Gilas and TPE. This also helped his confidence after struggling against CAN on Day 1. Wright shot 3/9 overall vs CAN, but he bounced back strong vs TPE Blue, hitting a total of 4 triples en route to 17 pts. If he can continue to keep defenses honest whenever he is shooting from the perimeter, guys like Myers and Standhardinger should have an easy time around the basket.

Gilas 3pts:
Wright - 4 triples
Pogoy - 3 triples
Carl Cruz - 2 triples

- Michael Myers had a forgettable debut vs CAN, but he posted slightly better numbers vs TPE blue to make up for Day 1's loss. He started the game strong with an emphatic alley-oop jam courtesy of a Ravena lob, but Myers needs to be more consistent. He missed AT LEAST 3 gimmes against TPE Blue, and we just cannot afford for him to continue playing so inconsistently. His big body will be tested here against an even bigger import, naturalized player prospect Kyle Barone, who has been solid for TPE White so far.

Myers - 8.0ppg, 10.0rpg, 1.5spg, 1.0bpg
Barone - 12.0ppg, 14.5rpg

- Another area where Gilas excelled was in their rebounding. The Pinoys dominated that thanks to great, solid performances from guys like Standhardinger and Myers - both centers - but other guys stepped up, too, like Kiefer Ravena with 8 boards, Ray Parks with 5, and Jio Jalalon with 4. TPE White is even smaller than TPE Blue, so our boys, in theory, should not encounter much trouble in terms of boxing out and grabbing those boards tomorrow.

Gilas rebs:
Standhardinger - 15rebs
Myers - 11rebs
Ravena - 8rebs
Parks - 5rebs
Jalalon 4 rebs

- "Ray" Chen Ying-Chun is the undisputed leader of TPE White. He continues to be among the team's best scorers, and for sure you don't to leave him open from anywhere. He reminds me a lot of former TPE star Lin Chih-Chieh. Like Lin, Chen can keep hitting long range bombs, but he can also function as a solid playmaker finding the open men for easy shots. If Chen keeps on doing whatever he is doing, though, then TPE White may have a long-shot to upset Gilas here. His numbers dipped on Day 2, which may mean he will looking to bounce back strong on Day 3.

Chen should be familiar to Kiefer, Kevin Ferrer, Mike Tolomia, and Von Pessumal. They played against Chen at the 2010 FIBA U18 Asia Championship. It was the quarter-finals, and Chen led TPE in knocking out the RP Youth team.

vs KOR - 26pts 7rebs, 8asts
vs IRI - 14pts, 2rebs, 3asts, 2stls

- This tournament is pretty much one big tryout for Myers to see if he can be the next dominant big man and maybe Gilas's next naturalization prospect. At 6'10, Barone will tower over everyone else at this competition, so if he can bully his way to he basket, TPE will be in a position to win. As is, though, Barone has given a really good account of himself so far, and because he can just overpower smaller forwards and centers, Barone may yet prove to be a formidable foe. Both Myers and Standhardinger need to find a way to contain this man.

vs KOR - 13pts, 10rebs,
vs IRI - 11pts, 19rebs, 3blks

- What TPE struggled with in their loss to Iran is clanking those 3pt shots. TPE made just 4/18 3pt tries, and at this level that just won't cut it. The home team prides itself in being a haven for speed and some shooting, but so far the shooting has been inconsistent. If TPE White can execute their plays well and get their shooters open, they may just do to the Pinoys what Gilas did to TPE Blue on Day 2.s

Last Game:
Huang Tsung-Han - 1/8 3pts
Chen Ying-Chun - 1/3 3pts
Chien You-Che - 1/4 3pts

- Whereas we have the Cadets squad in the PHI, TPE has its own version with this TPE White team. This is where TPE grooms its budding young stars, so that they will be ready for the tournament format we wanted. This has been TPE's practice for the longest time, and they have produced many Team A players like Chou Yi-Hsiang and Chou Po-Hsun. They have an average age of just 23 yrs olf, which is younger than even our very own Cadets.

- Christian Stndhardinger was awesome in their win over TPE Blue. The 6'8 Fil-German stood tall with a sublime double-double line. He personified PUSO and hustle on both ends of the floor, and was maybe the biggest reason Gilas was able to protect their lead in the 2nd half. Sure, Gilas no longer has Marc Pingris and we don't have Calvin Abueva yet, but we have PUSO in spades because of Standhardinger.

vs CAN: 9pts, 10rebs, 3/10 FGs
vs TPE Blue: 17pts, 15rebs, 3asts, 1stl, 1blk, 7/11 FGs