Previously undefeated Philippines stumbled against Lebanon in the biggest upset of the William Jones Cup tournament so far, falling 91-72 short of the Middle Easterners at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium in Tianmu yesterday afternoon to settle with a 4-1 record.
The loss not only put the Philippines virtually out of title contention as they look to another uphill battle against the undefeated defending champs from Iran this afternoon, but also heightens the stakes in tomorrow night’s showdown between Taiwan and Lebanon, with the winner likely to end with a fourth-place finish.
Naturalized standout Jarrid Famous led the way for Lebanon with 11 points in the first quarter that saw his team take a surprise 22-15 advantage against the favored Philippines. That was all they needed to pull off the upset as Elie Stephan poured in 11 in the second quarter to spearhead Lebanon to a double-digit halftime lead before the eventual victory.
United States 95, Japan 73
The US bounced back from a double-overtime loss to Iran on Wednesday with a convincing 95-73 win over Japan in the early game in Tianmu yesterday afternoon, thanks to a 32-point second quarter that gave the US a 51-40 lead at the half.
Five US players scored in double-figures on the night, with speedy guard James Justice leading the way. The 1.77m native of Memphis, Tennessee, was more than his Japanese counterpart could handle as he shot an impressive six-for-eight from the field for a team-high 18 points.
In other Cup play, it was:
‧ South Korea 105, Jordan 84
‧ Iran 83, Taiwan Guan-hua 71