The Philippines finally defeated it’s long-time rival Lebanon and scored their first win in the FIBA Asia Cup held in Ota City, Tokyo, Japan with the final score at 78-68 in favor of the Filipinos.
Big man and naturalized center Marcus Douthit made an amazing performance and spectacular show of his basketball prowess as he was able to lift Smart Gilas pouring out 25 points and grabbing 21 monstrous rebounds and led all scorers from both team.
Marcus Douthit played the most important shots and rebounds in the dying seconds of the game and even made important stops by blocking a crucial attempt by Lebanese star player Fadi El-Khatib whom he outscored and out rebounded for the rest of the game.
El-Khatib led all scorers with 24 points from the Lebanese side in the entire period of the match showing his basketball skills although he was considered as one of the oldest player in Lebanon National Basketball Team. Their naturalized player Garnett Thompson also contributed with a total of 17 points.
Smart Gilas was down only by three-points in the first half of the game but their surge in the 3rd quarter started their comeback and gained momentum for the rest of the game.
The Lebanon challenged the Philippine team in the fourth period scoring six of the first eight points to come closer at 61-59 through the effort of El-Khatib but it was responded with crucial shots in the remaining few minutes of the game with the held of Gary David who also scored some crucial points.
The game ended with a total of 78-68, the first win for the Smart Gilas in the competition after they suffered a heartbreaking lost to the youthful Chinese squad.
SMART-Gilas Pilipinas (78) – Douthit 25, David 11, Tenorio 11, Dillinger 10, Norwood 10, De Ocampo 8, Fonacier 3, Chan 0, Thoss 0.
Lebanon (68) – F. El Khatib 24, Thompson 17, Akl 10, Abdelnour 8, C. El-Khatib 4, Sarkis 3, Stephan 2, Rustom 0, Tabet 0.
Smart Gilas vs. Lebanon Fourth Quarter: