In the 34 editions of the William Jones Cup held in Taipei from August 18 to 26, 2012, Philippines’ Smart Gilas II clinched the title with a 76-75 win over the United States men’s national basketball team.
MVP of the game LA Tenorio helped the team as the Philippines rallied in the second half to defeat UPG and it worked. Philippines won its 4th title of William Jones Cup since Phl Centennial team won the championship in 1988.
“Before the game, we just said imagine the Philippines playing the US for the gold in a basketball game. I know it’s just a Jones Cup, an Asian level, but I don’t know if it’s going to happen again in our lives. We said we take this opportunity,” said Gilas coach Chot Reyes.
Team Philippines could have the smallest players but they have the best of plays to show inside the court. They played with a heart like what Reyes said “This might be the weakest Philippine team, the least prepared, smallest. What it has got is a big heart,” said Reyes.
“Heart won it for us versus Japan, Korea, Iran and the US. These guys just don’t know the meaning of quit,” added Reyes whose wards ruled the tournament with a 7-1 win-loss showing.
Smart Gilas Philippines 76 – Tenorio 20, Chan 18, Douthit 17, Fonacier 9, Norwood 5, David 5, De Ocampo 2, Thoss 0, Mercado 0.
United States 75 –Arnold 17, Justice 17, Marshall 14, Barnes 13, Dearman 10, Vandermeer 2, Reese 0, Williams 0.