Gilas Pilipinas started cold but came out firing on all cylinders after the first quarter to beat Chinese-Taipei, 90-83, on Monday night, thus sweeping the first window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
The Filipinos found themselves staring at a 14-point deficit, 5-19, early in the game but quickly regrouped to turn the game around.
Jayson Castro, the hero in Gilas’ first victory against Japan on Friday, once again led the Philippines, finishing with a team-high 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting in over 24 minutes of action. He also collected four rebounds and four assists.
June Mar Fajardo played his best game yet as a Gilas frontliner, blasting away with 17 points, along with eight rebounds, two assists, and two blocks in over 23 minutes. He scored nine of his points in the first half when he came in to replace a sluggish Andray Blatche. The four-time PBA MVP joined forces with Calvin Abueva and Kiefer Ravena to rally Gilas from a 17-3 deficit after Chinese Taipei naturalized player Quincy Davis scored 12 straight points in the opening period.