Smart Gilas razes Taiwan Pure Youth, 84-77
Smart Gilas drops Taiwan’s Pure Youth Construction, 84-77, to barge into the finals of ABA League in Haining, China. Marcus Douthit once again led the game for the Filipinos with 26 points, 13 boards and 5 shotblocks to register a staggering double-double performance against Pure Youth. Hotshot Chris Tiu contributed with 12 markers, 8 rebounds and 3 assists.
The game started in a sluggish pace with Gilas trailing Taipei’s squad 6-10 at the beginning of the first quarter. It was a seesaw battle but the 3rd rank team in Super Basketball League Taiwan managed to eke out a 19-17 lead before the beginning of the second canto.
Gilas eventually stole the lead as Rajko Toroman’s wards intensified their defense in the second quarter. High-flying Japeth “The Project” Aguilar stole the show with highlight dunks, this combined with the scrappy plays and bum turn-overs by the Taiwanese squad to push ahead 40-31 before the end of the half.
Pure Youth was reinforced by two foreign imports, 6’6 Tyler Amaya and 6’9 Zack Atkinson.
Smart Gilas Pilipinas will next face tomorrow a dangerous Seoul Samsung Thunders in the ABA championship game. The Koreans walloped the same Pure Youth team with 28 points. The Thunders however, only placed 6th in the last staging of the Korean Basketbal League.
Asked if he was confident enough for the Finals match against the Koreans, Smart Gilas gunner Chris Lutz said, “For sure, we have to!…and we’ll play as hard as we can.”