Gilas PH tops group as Qatar nips Taiwan

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CHINESE Taipei’s Tien Lei tries to fake off Qatar’s Ali Turki and Saeed Erfan Ali.AUGUST DELA CRUZ

MANILA, Philippines—“I think I can run for president of the Philippines right now, don’t you think?”

Qatar coach Rob Wisman declared this in jest on Wednesday after gift-wrapping for the Philippines the No. 1 seeding—and the lightest possible Final Eight assignment—in the 27th FIBA Asia Championship following an upset 71-68 decision of Chinese Taipei.

“How many votes do you think I can get?” he added after steering the Qataris, beaten by the Filipinos Monday night, to a win that meant little to them but made millions happy in this basketball-crazy country at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

Yasseen Musa, a 38-year-old who has been in the Qatari national program for the past two decades, scored 20 points and grabbed a tournament-high 19 rebounds as Qatar dealt the Taiwanese, conquerors of the Filipinos in the first round, a first loss in this tournament that rewards the top three finishers with slots to the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.

Both Qatar and Chinese Taipei finished the second round with 4-1 slates in Group E, which Gilas Pilipinas matched later in the night by beating lightweight and winless Hong Kong in its final game, 67-55.

The Filipinos found the going rough, needing to come up with a big second half to turn back their foes, who absorbed their fifth straight setback.

Under the quotient system that was applied to break the three-way tie, the Philippines nailed the top spot with a plus 5 quotient, with Taiwan finishing second and Qatar third.

The decisive factor in the tiebreaker was the country’s 10-point win over the Qataris on Tuesday. Gilas earlier lost to the Taiwanese by five points, 84-79.

Chinese Taipei, whose main outside gunner, the 6-foot-2 Lin Chih-chieh, saw limited minutes because of an ankle sprain, wound up No. 2 with a plus 2 quotient while Qatar was No. 3 at minus-7.

The Filipinos now get their initial wish to meet Kazakhstan in the first round of the KO stages on Friday even as the Taiwanese face the daunting task of hurdling defending champion China next. The Kazakhs finished No. 4 in Group F.

The other KO pairings will be Iran against Jordan and Qatar versus South Korea.

If the Philippines slips past the Kazakhs, Gilas goes up against either the Qataris or the Koreans in the Final Four with another win securing for Gilas a place in next year’s World Championship.

Qatar came into Wednesday’s contest needing to win by 16 points to win the No. 1 ranking. The Qataris got to lead by as many as 12 early in the fourth period, 68-56, only to suffer a cold spell that allowed the Taiwanese to draw level at 68.

The Qataris looked in disarray before the braided-haired Daoud Mosa Daoud hit a layup for 70-68 going into the final 43.3 seconds.

After coming out of a timeout, the Taiwanese put the ball in the hands of Tien Lei, their 6-foot-10 forward who was once invited by the Dallas Mavericks for a tryout. Tien then missed a contested layup.

Jarvis Hayes, the 10th overall pick by the New Jersey Nets in the 2002 NBA Draft that included LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, split his charities off a foul by Chen Shih-chieh with 12.1 seconds remaining for what turned out to be the final count.

Tseng Wen-ting, the pony-tailed Taiwanese veteran who made crucial triples in the endgame of the last two Chinese Taipei wins, failed to send the game into overtime when his heave at the buzzer was way off the mark.

“I can’t ask for anything more from what the players gave today,” Wisman said. “This was a nice win against a quality team. We came with the mind-set that we needed to win by 16 points.”

THE SCORES:

QATAR 71—Musa 20, Hayes 13, Daoud 10, Saeed 8, Ali 7, M. Mohamed 7, Abdi 4, Elhadary 2, Mohammed Saleem Abdullah 0, B. Mohammed 0.

TAIPEI 68—Davis III 23, Chen 13, Yang 7, Tien 6, Lu 6, Lee 5, Creighton 5, Tseng 3, Chen 3, Lin 0, Chou 0, Tsai 0.

Quarters: 15-15, 29-28, 49-48, 71-68

GILAS PILIPINAS 67—Douthit 13, Chan 12, Norwood 11, Castro 11, Tenorio 9, Pingris 6, Fonacier 2, De Ocampo 2, Alapag 1, Fajardo 0, Aguilar 0, David 0.

HONG KONG 55—Chan 16, Reid 12, Lam 6, Li 6, Wong 6, Poon 4, Lau 3, Chan 2,  Lau T. 0, Lee 0.

Quarters: 13-19, 28-33, 46-43, 67-55

RELATED STORY

FIBA Asia: Gilas Pilipinas defeats Hong Kong to clinch top spot in group E

Originally posted at 11:12 pm | Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Handiong

    The Qatari remembered their lesson on “intensity” that they learned from Gilas the other night. As Coach Wisman said, the Filipinos taught them “a lesson on intensity”.

  • doki budoki

    useless talaga si gary david sa team

  • barry p

    Coach Rob Wisman for Senator! :)

    • 227th

      that’s a mockery u i d i o t!!

      • dudesk001

        ang engot mo naman tsong hindi mo nakita yung obvious joke…galit kapa lol …thank you Qatar!

      • 227th

        isa ka pa masyado ka literal. he’s indirectly telling u that u elect officials by reason of fame!!

      • dudesk001

        ikaw pala ung idiot eh…hindi ba halata sayo na foreigner yung si wisman kaya hindi puede tumakbo sa public office dito kahit sa panaginip?? ano yung elect elect na sinasabi mo engotski?

        I think u did not read the news properly, Wisman was joking about running for president because he became popular with pnoys bec he beat Taiwan and did us a big favor and barry p was just playing to this joke. Tapos ikaw nagagalit ka na parang baliw…hayyy uminom kanaba ng gamot mo?

      • 227th

        LOL..read again my last reply…grow some brain cells dude..

  • Trollollolloll

    Sana makapasok ang Pilipinas sa NBA Finals!

  • bgcorg

    Go, go, go Gilas Pilipinas! Let your wings take the country’s flag to the FIBA World Championships!

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