MANILA – The Philippines-Smart Gilas came from behind to upset taller USA five, 76-75, to win the 34th Jones Cup basketball championship yesterday in Taipei .
Small but terrible LA Tenorio spearheaded the Filipinos' huge rally from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter where he scored 11 of his 20 points.
The Americans opened the game with a 6-0 lead and went to the dugout for a halftime break with 34-23 lead despite Jeff Chan's triple.
The Filipinos moved closer at 59-51 after the third period and relied on Tenorio-led 8-0 rally in the first two minutes in the final canto to tie the game 59-all.
Tenorio drilled in a floater to give the Philippines a 72-70 and wrapped his fourth quarter heroics with a jumper for the final count.
The USA failed to score in the remaining 16 seconds of the game with Chan teamed up with Tenorio for a finishing defensive touch to preserve the win, the Philippines ' seventh against only one defeat to bring home the championship.
Chan was fouled with 1.9 seconds to go but missed the first of his two foul shots. Coach Chot Reyes instructed Chan to intentionally missed the second to prevent the USA from setting for possible winning basket.
It was the first Jones Cup title since 1998.*PNA
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