Lee leads Gilas over China-A A +A
Saturday, July 19, 2014
CEBU - Paul Lee proved he is worthy of a slot in the Gilas Pilipinas lineup to the Fiba World Championship in Spain as the Rain or Shine guard displayed nerves of steel when he sank three crucial free throws to help the Philippines beat China, 80-79, to clinch third place in the 5th Fiba Asia Cup in Wuhan, China on Saturday.
Lee got to the foul line after he was fouled by forward Kelanbaike Makan with China up, 79-77, and with only three seconds left.
Trailing by as much as 10 points back in the first quarter, the young Chinese squad kept Gilas at bay before allowing the Filipinos to tie the game at 77 with a minute left to play in the game.
China was leading by nine points, 75-66, after Quan Gu nailed a triple in the final 4:04 mark of the game when Gilas dropped an 11-2 run. LA Tenorio scored seven in that run that had the Philippines on level terms in the final 60 seconds.
Makan reclaimed the lead for China with two free throws and Tenorio tried to regain it back for Gilas, but failed when he bungled a triple attempt at the 34 seconds mark.
Gilas put up a good defensive stance but Ranidel De Ocampo was forced to foul Zirui Wang to stop a field goal with only 11 seconds left to play in the game.
Wang missed both charities and Marcus Douthit collared the rebound for the Philippines, paving the way for Lee’s three-point attempt.
Surprisingly, Gilas ruled the battle of the boards, 42-30, and outscored China, 36-26, inside the paint.
Douthit proved to be the king of the boards for the Philippines as the naturalized American grabbed the tournament high 22 rebounds.
The Philippines also had more assists, 21-10, and shot better from the field.
De Ocampo led Gilas scorers with 18 points, Japeth Aguilar played his best game and finished with 14 points, while Tenorio had 12 points. Douthit and Beau Belga added 10 points each for the Philippines’ best finish in this tournament, erstwhile known as the Fiba Asia Stankovic Cup. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 20, 2014.