The SMART Gilas Pilipinas national team came from behind and beat Southern California Fukienese Association (SCFA), 81-77, to bag the crown of the 19th Super Keung Sheung Cup International Invitation Basketball Championship on Sunday at Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wanchai, Hong Kong.
Kevin Alas showed his big fighting heart in the end game as he came away with crucial plays for the Philippine team and dethroned SCFA.
Naturalized player Marcus Douthit led the way for the Filipinos with 19 points and 20 rebounds while GlobalPort’s hitman Gary David added 14.
Alas, who was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, added 13 while Garvo Lanete netted 12 points for coach Chot Reyes, who bagged his second international title in less than a year.
The Philippine SMART Gilas five also won the William R. Jones Cup crown last July in Taiwan.
The SMART Gilas Philippines trailed the most of the way as SCFA, the tournament favorites with eight American players on its roster, dominated the game from the get-go.
SCFA took a 45-40 halftime advantage and still holding a 60-59 edge entering the fourth period.
Behind Alas, Douthit and David, SMART Gilas got its rhythm in the payoff period and took a 77-73 lead with the Letran standout scoring the last four markers, 1:21 remaining in the game.
From there, the Filipinos bravely weathered the American squad with Alas providing the hustle plays to book its second international title.
Meanwhile, host nation Hong Kong defeated Changsha Park Lane Snow Wolves, 81-71, for the third place honor.