Korean Ghost haunts the Philippines again as Gilas bows out of FIBA-Asia Cup

Paul Lintag on Aug 17, 2017 01:09 AM
Korean Ghost haunts the Philippines again
South Korea's offense went supernova on Gilas Pilipinas as the Philippines officially exit the 2017 FIBA-Asia Cup following a 32-point loss to its greatest Asian rivals. (FIBA)

The Korean Ghost is alive and it came to haunt the Philippine men's national basketball team.


With its near-perfect shooting, South Korea has eliminated Gilas Pilipinas in the 2017 FIBA-Asia Cup, issuing an emphatic 118-86 quarterfinal decision Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) at the Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in Beirut, Lebanon.

Things started to unravel for the Philippines in the second period as the Koreans established a 16-point lead by running a disciplned offense and knocking down almost everything in sight.

Gilas Pilipinas managed to fight back behind the brilliance of Terrence Romeo, who scored 22 points in the quarter. The Bro nailed six threes as the national team entered the break only down by eight, 49-57.

However, South Korea would land the early knockout punch in the third period, outscoring Gilas Pilipinas by 16 points without really doing anything out of the ordinary except to keep shooting at a ridiculously high rate.

A deflated Gilas tried to turn the tide in the final 10 minutes but Korea, who rolled to its fourth straight victory in the Asian championships, responded with shooting, shooting, and oh yes, more shooting, eventually opening up a 34-point lead before settling for a 32-point win.

In the end, the Koreans broke their earlier record of 116 points to score a tournament-high 118 over Gilas Pilipinas, shooting 67 percent from the field.

Eight players made at least one three-point shot for South Korea and the team collectively shot 16 out of 21 from beyond the arc for an incredible 76 percent.

Making a return trip to the semifinals for the first time since 2013, South Korea will now wait for the winner of Iran and hosts Lebanon who were playing as off press time.

Sekeun Oh led the Korean offense with 22 points and five rebounds while Sunhyung Kim added 21 on top of thee boards and four assisrts.

Jongkyu Kim was good for 15 points.

Gilas Pilipinas, who entered the quarterfinals with a bye following a sweep of Group B, got 22 points from Romeo.

Christian Standhardinger, returning from a bad case of stiff neck that caused him to miss one game, finished with 17 points in a starting role. RR Pogoy came off the bench to add 12 while Jayson Castro dropped 11 points, three rebounds, and four assists.

Making its exit in the quarterfinals, the Philippines will have its worst finish in FIBA Asia play since 2009 when it settled for eight place.

Gilas Pilipinas has been to the Finals of the last two editions of this tournament, losing the gold medal to Iran and China in 2013 and 2015 respectively.


The Scores:

South Korea (118) - Oh 22, Kim S. 21, Kim J. 15, Lee S. 14, Lee J. 11, Park 9, Choi 9, Heo 9, Yang 5, Jeon 3, Lim 0, Lee J 0.

Philippines (86) - Romeo 22, Standhardinger 17, Pogoy 12, Castro 11, Aguilar 7, Wright 6, Jalalon 5, Abueva 2, Fajardo 2, Almazan 2, Cruz 0, Norwood 0.

Quarterscores: 26-18, 57-49, 86-62, 118-86


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