Gilas Pilipinas cruises to 3rd straight win after beating Qatar in FIBA Asia Cup
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Gilas Pilipinas proved to be too strong as they dominated from start to finish to hand Qatar its 3rd consecutive defeat, 80-74, in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup on Sunday, August 13 in Beirut, Lebanon.
Team Pilipinas – who played in a stadium filled with supporters – remained unscathed with a 3-0 win-loss record to move ahead to the quarterfinals of the tourney.
Philippines ran over Qatar early in the first quarter to take a 25-16 lead behind Matthew Wright’s solo 8-0 run including back-to-back triples and never looked back.
Calvin Abueva slipped and hurt his left ankle but Carl Bryan Cruz proved to be reliable for Gilas’ backcourt offense as he shot shot two three-pointers and locked in 4 straight points to end the second period, 41-27.
Gilas Pilipinas started with 10 turnovers compared to Qatar’s 6 but intensified their defense to force them into committing 6 more errors, ending with a total of 12 versus Philippines’ 11 turnovers.
Qatar stepped up its game in the second half and trimmed Philippines’ lead to 9 points but Wright made sure to take away Qatar’s hope of bagging a win, closing the 3rd with a trey to push a 59-47 lead.
Yehia Abdelhaleem sank in a shot from beyond the arc to complete a 10-2 run for Qatar but Terrence Romeo and Wright fired off lethal three-pointers of their own to seal the win for Philippines.
The sharpshooter Wright finished with 25 points, two assists and a steal while Cruz added 13 markers.
Norwood and Romeo contributed 10 apiece to sweep the group phase of the tournament.
Pint-sized Mansour Elhadary gave 23 markers, 6 dishes and 3 boards in a losing effort for Qatar.
The FIBA Asia Cup quarterfinals is scheduled to happen on Wednesday.
Philippines (80) – Wright 25, Cruz 13, Romeo 10, Norwood 10, William 6, Pogoy 5, Almazan 4, Aguilar 3, Jalalon 2, Fajardo 0, Standhardinger 0
Qatar (74) – Elhadary 23, Saad 18, Erfan 9, Abdelhaleem 8, Mohamed 6, Al-Muftah 6, Mohamed 6, Mohmmed 4, Al-Darwish 0, Salem 0, Abdelkawy, 0, Al-Rayes 0
Quarter scores: 25-16, 41-27, 59-47, 80-74