by Jonas Terrado
Mighty Sports-Go for Gold Philippines capped off its successful title run in the 41st William Jones Cup with an 81-71 victory over Taiwan-B on Sunday at the Xinzhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City.
Eugene Phelps capped off his consistent showing with 24 points and 13 rebounds while Mackenzie Moore added 16 points, three rebounds, five assists and four steals as Mighty capped off the 10-day competition by winning all eight matches.
Coach Charles Tiu’s squad completed a sweep despite missing the services of Renaldo Balkman, who suffered a broken nose in Saturday’s title-clinching rout of Taiwan-A.
The team owned by Alex and Caesar Wongchuking and also backed by HealthCube posted a whopping average winning margin of almost 22 points.
The Philippine club almost saw its title aspirations slip away last Tuesday when it needed a big comeback to beat South Korea, 89-82, in Changhua.
Yung Cheng Wu scored 15 points for Taiwan-B in a losing effort.
To the delight of the crowd, the Taiwanese gave the heftier Mighty-GFG squad a spirited challenge in the third that saw them outscore the PH squad 23-19.
But McKenzie Moore and Eugene Phelps made a pair of slam dunks before crafty Fil-Am guard Jason Brickman sealed the team’s win with a beautiful drive, 77-67.
“We missed the energy and power of Renaldo but it was a good win for the team, everybody contributed,” said Mighty head coach Charles Tiu.
More than that, it gave the country its sixth title since the tournament began in 1977. “As they say, it’s sweeter the second time around.
The boys really played well,” said Mighty Sports owner Alex Wongchuking. “We’re also happy because we gave our kababayans here a real entertainment.”
The Ron Jacobs-mentored Northern Consolidated ruled the 1981 and 1986 editions, the Philippine Centennial team won in 1998, Gilas Pilipinas reigned supreme in 2012 and Mighty bagged its first Jones Cup in 2016.