If Team Pilipinas would want to secure one of 3 slots for Asia for next year’s FIBA World Basketball Championship in Turkey, they would first have to find ways to contain Lebanon’s bigmen. Naturalized American Jackson Vroman, a 6-10 NBA veteran, scored 24 points and grabbed 7 rebounds before fouling out and Lebanese-American 6-8 Brian Feghali had a team-high 29 points including 5 3-pointers as Lebanon handed the RP Team its 4th defeat in 5 games in the 31st William Jones Cup in Hsinchuang Gym in Taipei.

As a consolation, the Philippines outrebounded Lebanon, 36-28, but committed 27 turnovers as compared to 15 by the opponent. Lebanon tried to pull away 34-49 midway in the second quarter before James Yap caught fire to narrow the gap 42-50 at the half. The Powerade-backed RP Team then started the rally in the second half pulling to within 2 points at 57-59 but Lebanese star player Fadi El Khatib quickly doused the rally with a calm 3-pointer.

Both teams then coasted through the final quarter with Lebanon erecting a 93-75 bubble before RP closed out the scoring with an 8-2 run.

What was evident is that the Philippines was slow in defending the Lebanese shooters, especially Feghali who had all-day to shoot his triples.

The scores:

LEBANON 95 – Feghali 29, Vroman 24, El-Khatib 14, Fahed 11, Nour 9, Mahmoud 4, Turk 3, Kanaan 1.

POWERADE-RP 83 – Helterbrand 12, Raymundo 11, Yap 11, Pennisi 9, Santos 7, Norwood 7, Aguilar 6, Baguio 4, Thoss 3, Taulava 3.

Quarterscores: 30-19; 50-42; 78-66; 95-73

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