Gilas gets back at Qatar, completes Group B sweep

By Denison Rey A. Dalupang


Matthew Wright of Gilas Pilipinas in their third game in the FIBA Asia Cup 2017 in Beirut, Lebanon. | FIBA Photo

MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas completed its revenge tour of the FIBA Asia Cup group phase after defeating Qatar, 80-74, in Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday night.

The Filipinos leaned on the markmanship of Matthew Wright, who drilled seven of his 12 triples to help Gilas build a cushion and fend off attempts by the Qataris to turn the tide.

Terrence Romeo delivered on the clutch anew, making a jumpshot at the 2:35 mark of the payoff period when Qatar moved to within five, and then again at the final 33 ticks of the game to widen the gap to eight.

Wright went on to pace the Filipinos with 25 points. Romeo, for his part, finished with 10. Carl Bryan Cruz and Gilas veteran Gabe Norwood chimed in 13 and 10, respectively.

Mansour El Hadary carried the brunt of the scoring load for Qatar, tallying 23 markers. Abdulrahman Mohamed Saad chipped in 18.

With the victory over Qatar, Gilas avenged the heart-wrenching loss it suffered in the 2014 Asian games. Just last Wednesday, Gilas also made China pay for the loss they endured in the 2015 final.

The sweep came in a time the Philippines was missing Christian Standhardinge due to stiff neck. Calvin Abueva, too, had to be carried back to the bench midway the game after hurting his left foot.

Now enjoying the top spot in Group B with a spotless record, Gilas is set to take on the winner of the playoff tussle between Japan and Kore in the quarterfinal phase.

The next round begins on Wednesday.

The Scores:

GILAS PILIPINAS 80 - Wright 25, Cruz 13, Norwood 10, Romeo 10, Castro William 6, Pogoy 5, Almazan 4, Aguilar 3, Abueva 2, Jalalon 2.

QATAR 74 - Elhadary 23, Saad 18, Erfan 9, Abdelhaleem 8, Al-Muftah 6, Mohamed 6, Mohmmed 4, Abdelkawy 0, Al-Darwish 0, Al-Rayes 0.

Quarters: 25-16, 41-27, 59-47, 80-74.

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