NEW TAIPEI CITY, Taiwan—Philippine representative Mighty Sports Apparels survived an early scare and crushed India, 101-81, to further boost its title drive in the William Jones Cup Thursday at the Xinzhuang gym here.
Korean league veteran Dewarick Spencer and former PBA import Al Thornton starred for the team’s fifth straight win as they sparked the team’s furious third-quarter run to rip the game wide open and notch their fifth straight win in the nine-team tournament.
It all started with a 20-4 run that saw them take a 68-52 advantage before closing the quarter with an 11-4 salvo that all but shattered India’s spirit.
That was enough to give coach Bo Perasol the luxury of fielding his homegrown players.
But more than that, it pushed Mighty Sports within two wins from raising the championship trophy last won by Gilas Pilipinas four years ago.
The win will likewise serve them in good stead as they clash with defending champion Iran in an all-important showdown today—a game every Filipino fan here is looking forward to watch.
With a clean record, Mighty Sports can virtually clinch the title if they beat Iran today and Egypt tomorrow.
Their last assignment is against Taiwan-B which is no longer in the mix after slipping to 2-2.
Iran, which fell to a 3-1 record following a shocking 67-50 loss to the 3-2 Koreans the other day, were playing against Taiwan-A at presstime. They will still face Japan on Saturday and India on Sunday.
The 6’4” Spencer was simply outstanding, notching the tournament’s first triple-double of 21 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
Thornton was as hot as the weather outside as the former NLEX import produced a tournament-high 30 points on a remarkable 13-of-16 shooting from the field.
He eclipsed the previous high of 27 that Spencer scored in the team’s 89-81 win over Taiwan-A last Sunday.
The Indians were on target and surprisingly tough in the first quarter as they buried four triples.
“We struggled in the first half because maybe we took the Indians for granted,” said Spencer. “But against Iran, we have to be ready from start to finish.”
Mighty Sports 101 – Thornton 30, Spencer 21, Macklin 14, Singletary 10, N’Diaye 8, Graham 5, Teng 4, Rodriguez 4, Ferrer 3, Brickman 2, Tang 0.
India 81 – Amritpal 18, Amjyot 15, Bhullar 15, Arumugam 8, Talwinderjit 8, Philip 8, Sivakumar 4, Pari 3, Pethani 2, Annadurai 0, Bhardwaj 0.
Quarters: 23-27, 48-48, 79-59, 101-81.