Gilas Pilipinas overcomes slow start to pummel Iraq
Terrence Romeo helped anchor a third-quarter explosion by Gilas Pilipinas as the national team beat Iraq to get solo first in Group B play. (FIBA)
Gilas Pilipinas didn't exactly play well in the third quarter against China to start the 2017 FIBA-Asia Cup.
It was the total opposite vs. Iraq two days later.
The Philippines bucked a slow start to score a convincing 84-68 win over the Iraqis Friday at the Nouhad Nawal Sports Complex in Beirut, Lebanon.
Gilas Pilipinas pushed its record to a clean 2-0 mark, earning solo first place in Group B.
After struggling from the field in the game's first 20 minutes, Gilas came out of its dugout with guns ablaze, outscoring Iraq 28-9 in the third period to turn a one-point halftime lead into a 20-point cushion heading to the fourth.
Fil-German Christian Standhardinger started the run for the nationals, scoring the Philippines' first 10 points of the half for a 42-35 lead.
Terrence Romeo then took over for Gilas, knocking down seven straight as the Philippines opened up a 14-point advantage.
Gilas would ride the momentum all the way to victory, only slowing down towards the latter part of the fourth after the decision was long decided.
Romeo led the Philippines in scoring for the second straight game in Lebanon, dropping 17 points, 11 in the third, on top of two rebounds and four assists. Standhardinger wasn't far behind, adding 16 points, with 12 of them coming in that crucial third-quarter rally, to go along with seven boards.
Carl Bryan Cruz was the third double-digit scorer for Gilas as the Alaska rookie came off the bench to contribute 11 markers including a perfect 3-of-3 shooting from deep.
Iraq, who fell to 1-1 and is now tied with China in Group B, played Gilas tough in the first half, taking advantage of the Phippines' poor shooting to control the game.
However, the Iraqis had no answer after Gilas picked up the pace in the second half and will now face the Chinese to dispute the no. 2 spot in Group B.
Kevin Galloway did everything for Iraq, going for 23 points, 14 rebounds, and six assists in a losing effort.
The Philippines will wrap up group play against winless Qatar on Sunday.
PHILIPPINES 84 – Romeo 17, Standhardinger 16, Cruz 11, Pogoy 9, Norwood 8, Wright 8, Aguilar 5, Jalalon 4, Abueva 3, Almazan 2, Castro 1
IRAQ 68 – Galloway 23, Hamzah 12, Al-Khafaji 8, Ismael 6, Hameed 5, Hamad 5, Abdullah 3, Dhafer 2, Talib 2, Alfburi 2, Aljuboori 0, Alazawi 0
Quarterscores: 17-19, 32-31, 60-40, 84-68
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