The Philippines' Larry Fonacier battles for the ball against Japan's Ryota Sakurai.

Gilas Pilipinas quickly put the memory of a bitter defeat to Chinese Taipei behind them, routing Japan, 90-71, to open their second-round campaign in the FIBA Asia Championship on a positive note.
Finally playing the "complete game” that national team coach Chot Reyes had been waiting for, the Nationals bounced back big time leading all the way and never letting the Japanese get into the game.

Smarting from a painful 79-84 defeat dealt by dangerous Chinese Taipei last Saturday, Gilas Pilipinas finally got off to a strong start, built a big lead as high as 26 points and protected it with force en route to its third win in four starts.

More importantly, the Nationals gained enough confidence heading into an intriguing clash with unscathed Qatar, powered by former NBA cager and naturalized player Jarvis Hayes, in Group E on Tuesday at 8:30 in the evening.

Japan, which dropped to 2-2, tries to keep its quarterfinals hopes alive against red-hot Chinese-Taipei at 3 o’clock also at the Pasay City-based venue.
Hardly a factor against the Taiwanese, naturalized center Marcus Douthit typified the Nationals' turnaround, topscoring with 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in 25 minutes of action.

For the first time in the tournament, Gilas avoided a slow start, taking a 17-14 lead after one quarter and extending ithe lead to 46-36 at halftime. The National then broke the game wide open in the third period, outscoring Japan 29-15 and leading by as many as 26 points at 77-51 at the start of the fourth.
The Main Man: Coming out aggressive right from the opening tip, Marcus Douthit clearly provided the needed presence on both ends that helped set the tone for Gilas Pilipinas.

The top scorer and rebounder of the biennial tourney in 2011, the 6-foot-11 center quickly asserted himself at will in the paint even against the likes of counterpart JR Sakuragi and Kosuke Takeuchi, banging in nine points and hauling down three rebounds.

Honorable Mentions: Japan got a full glimpse of an inside and outside attack in the form of Gilas Pilipinas gunner Jeff Chan and athletic forward Japeth Aguilar.

The 6-foot-2 Rain or Shine guard waxed hot anew with four triples, three of them coming during the 17-4 onslaught unleashed by Gilas in the third canto.

Not to be outdone was Aguilar, who will suit up for crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra starting in the Governors Cup.

Aside from providing the energy and hustle off the bench, the 6-foot-9 forward scattered seven points, four of them off emphatic dunks–first, a one-handed slam against a Japanese defender and second, an rim-rattling two-handed throwdown off a Ranidel de Ocampo feed that gave Gilas a sizeable 73-49 cushion.
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