Smart-Gilas' previous win over World Basketball Championship-bound Jordan wasn't a fluke, after all.
The national team aspirants proved that to everyone as they upstaged their Jordanian foes, 75-71, for their second straight win in the FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup Monday (Tuesday morning in Manila) in Beirut.
Asi Taulava had another double-double performance while Mac Baracael, Chris Tiu and Mark Barroca contributed in a big way as the Filipinos notched their second win in three matches.
Baracael scored 16 points while backcourt partners Tiu and Barroca combined for 25 markers as the Filipinos beat the Jordanians for the second straight time since the Manny V. Pangilinan Invitational Cup held at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium several months back.
Taulava, a three-time all-pro national team member and former Most Valuable Player in the Philippine Basketball Association, finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds in a performance that earned nothing but praises from Smart-Gilas coach Rajko Toroman.
"He (Taulava) has definitely added size. He's responded well to the team. I think we can look at using him in the long term, too," said Toroman.
Rasheim Wright, who played in pain, had a game-high 17 points.
Sam Daghles had 15 points and Ayman Idais added 11.
Curiously, the Filipinos played tough defense against the usually explosive Jordanians, who struggled for 5-of-28 shooting from beyond-the-arc.
Rey Joble, GMA News.TV