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Sixers punch above their weight in Manila

THE Adelaide 36ers today put a dent in the Philippines' FIBA World Cup campaign hopes with an emphatic 85-75 upset win over the national team at Manila's Meralco Gym.

Having lost Game 1 of the two-match series - a World Cup tune-up for the Filipinos and a preseason challenge for the Sixers - 83-92, Adelaide opened with a 29-13 first period that set a different tone for the rematch.

The 36ers trailed 9-11 before uncorking a 17-0 champagne outburst to go 26-11 clear, while keeping the Philippines scoreless for 6:17 of the period.

Ahead 44-30 at halftime after a more spirited second quarter from the home team, Adelaide again seized control in the third, a basket by Obi Kyei 1:41 from the end of the third quarter blowing the 36ers' lead out to 21 at 65-44.

Adelaide led by as many as 16 during the last quarter before Andray Blatche's free throws with 90 seconds to play brought the Philippines within seven. But that was as good as it got, Dan Dillon's triple putting any thoughts of a late upset out of reach.

Daniel Johnson led the way for Adelaide with a 12-point first half and finished with 16 points at 50 percent, with seven defensive rebounds and four assists.

Eric Griffin's 15 points came on 5-of-7 shooting, with five rebounds and two blocks, the 36ers also keeping Blatche - the star of Game 1 - in reasonable check.

Jack McVeigh's 12 points and Brendan Teys' 10 also both came on 5-of-7 shooting, McVeigh, like Griffin, also stroking 2-of-3 three-point baskets.

ADELAIDE 36ERS 85 (Johnson 16, Griffin 15, McVeigh 12, Teys, Taylor 10; Froling 9 rebs; Dillon, Johnson 4 assts) d PHILIPPINES 75 (Blatche 16, Ravena 11; Blatche 6 rebs; Blatche 5 assts) at Meralco Gym, Manila.

Aug 25

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