Gilas enters quarterfinal, crushes Qatar in Asian Games
MANILA, Philippines–Gilas Pilipinas made good on its promise to get back in the thick of the Asian Games medal race on Monday, picking apart Qatar, 80-41, at Zhejiang University Gymnasium in Hangzhou, China.
Gilas came out of the gates hard and put together a 33-14 edge at the end of the opening quarter. The Philippines protected that cushion the rest of the way to get back to the win column and arrange a quarterfinal duel against Iran on Tuesday.
June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez had 12 points each to lead the way for the Nationals who later used the contest to prepare for its next opponent.
Calvin Oftana had 11 points, playing in just two quarters, for a timely rebound from his horrendous shooting performance in an 87-62 blowout at the hands of Jordan last Saturday. Justin Brownlee chipped in nine more while also playing under a minutes restriction.
Gilas upgraded its shooting in the blowout, converting over half of their 63 attempts from the field for leads of as many as 43 points—a timely development heading into yet another do-or-die contest.
“We are confident we can get past Qatar but Iran will pose a stiffer roadblock,” national coach Tim Cone told the Inquirer before the win over the Qataris.
Iran will be a well-rested and confident bunch—following a sweep of Group A—in the game that tips off at 12 noon at the same venue.
A win on Tuesday sends Gilas to the Final Four, where it could meet host China, a squad it defeated for its lone win in the recent Fiba World Cup.