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MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas vented its ire on Qatar and coasted to an 80-41 blowout win to secure its place in the quarterfinals in the Asian Games men in Hangzhou, China, on Monday, October 2.
Handed its first loss following a 25-point whipping from Jordan in the group stage, the Philippines raced to a commanding 33-14 lead after the opening quarter and never looked back to arrange a last eight date with Iran.
There is no rest for the weary as the Filipinos battle the Iranians on Tuesday.
June Mar Fajardo turned in a perfect performance in the romp, finishing with 12 points on a 5-of-5 clip to go with 3 rebounds and 1 block, while CJ Perez also delivered 12 points along with 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
Calvin Oftana chimed in 11 points as he played a key role in that sizzling first quarter where he drained three triples.
Gilas Pilipinas also drew strength from Justin Brownlee in that blazing start as he chalked up all of his 9 points and 5 rebounds in the opening frame.
It was such a beatdown that Philippines head coach Tim Cone found no reason to play Brownlee for the remainder of the game, opting to rest the three-time PBA Best Import in the final three quarters.
Still, the Filipinos kept their foot on the gas and stretched their lead to as big as 43 points off a Perez fastbreak layup to end the third salvo, 73-30.
Japeth Aguilar added 9 points and 4 blocks in the win, Ange Kouame posted 8 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks, while Kevin Alas and Arvin Tolentino added 8 and 6 points, respectively.
Nedim Muslic scored 12 points as the only player in double figures for Qatar, which shot a horrendous 21% from the field.
Seeking its first Asian Games medal since it won bronze in 1998, Gilas Pilipinas looks to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2002.
A victory over Iran will set up a final four clash against either defending champion China or the winner between South Korea and Bahrain.
Philippines 80 – Fajardo 12, Perez 12, Oftana 11, Brownlee 9, Aguilar 9, Kouame 8, Alas 8, Tolentino 6, Thompson 3, Newsome 2, Ross 0, Lassiter 0.
Qatar 41 – Muslic 12, Ndoye 7, Ndao 5, Mousa 5, Lashin 4, Haracic 3, Advic 2, Dieng 2, Darwish 1, Talla 0, Hajar 0, Abdelbaset 0.
Quarters: 33-14, 57-23, 73-30, 80-41.