source: June Navarro | Philippine Daily Inquirer
WUHAN, China—Host China brandished too much NBA firepower and clubbed an undermanned Smart Gilas Pilipinas, 75-60, in the Fiba Asia championship Friday night.
of the Washington Wizards and former NBA players Wang Zhizhi and Sun Yue were too much to handle for the Philippine squad in a match marred by a near dugout free-for-all between the coaching staff of both teams at halftime.
The 6-foot-11 Yi had 20 points and 17 rebounds while Wang and Sun added 16 and 15 points each in a dominant performance that allowed the Chinese to pull away in the second period.
The 7-foot-1 Wang, China’s team captain, played for the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat while the 6-foot-6 Sun had a short stint with the LA Lakers two years ago.
“They’re tough and they’re tall. This is the first time we played them and they’re hard to match up with,” said Douthit, the tallest Smart Gilas player at 6-foot-10.
China coach Bob Donewald Jr. cussed coach Rajko Toroman after the Philippine five coach was assessed a technical for complaining to the referees with seven seconds remaining in the first half.
Smart Gilas assistant coach Ryan Gregorio then approached the commissioner’s table, fiercely complaining about Donewald’s expletives before game officials broke up the melee.
Gregorio and Donewald almost came to blows in the dugout with other coaches and staff of both groups engaged in a shouting match before tournament security intervened.
“He (Donewald) said that they’re too big and we are too small and that coach Rajko is an a..hole,” said Gregorio.
“I complained to the commissioner and was told that Donewald’s actions will be reported to the higher-ups of Fiba Asia,” added the Meralco head coach in the PBA.
The Chinese exploited Smart Gilas’ nine turnovers in the first two quarters and pulled away, 43-21, before halftime.
The Filipinos regrouped in the third quarter with team captain Chris Tiu and Douthit leading the recovery attack, 55-40, but China, backed by a raucous hometown crowd simply lorded it over in every aspect.
“We are small and short so the strategy is very simple for them,” said Toroman. “They (Chinese) have the experience and play in a different level, and their NBA players did well.”
China topped Group D after chalking up its second win while the Nationals fell to 1-1 after drubbing UAE the other night by 40 points.
Meanwhile, defending champion Iran clinched the top spot in Group B after winning over short-handed Qatar via forfeiture in a one-sided encounter that infuriated the fans.
Somebody from the crowd threw a water bottle on the court after four of Qatar’s five players
fouled out with 4:40 to go in the second quarter, awarding the Iranians an easy but dissatisfying win, 40-4, for a 2-0 record in the preliminary stage.
Five players from Qatar, including Dallas Mavericks draftee Targuy Ngombo, were prohibited from playing due to eligibility concerns.
CHINA 75—Yi J.L. 20, Wang 16, Sun Y. 15, Zhu 13, Zhang Z. 3, Liu 2, Zhang B. 2, Yi L. 2Yu 1, Su W. 0, Xirelijiang 0.
PHILIPPINES 60—Douthit 17, Tiu 12, Williams 6, Casio 5, Alapag 5, Aguilar 4, Baracael 4, de Ocampo 3, Barroca 2, Taulava 2.
Quarters: 22-13; 43-21; 55-40; 75-60