FIBA WORLD CUP ASIAN QUALIFIERS: Gilas Pilipinas dominates Taipei to set up Australia rematch
Paul Lintag on Jun 29, 2018 08:37 PM
Andray Blatche plays perhaps his best game of the Asian Qualifiers as Gilas Pilipinas beats Chinese Taipei. (FIBA)
First-quarter woes continue to haunt Gilas Pilipinas but time and time again, the Philippines is finding ways to recover and win in the end.
This time the victory was convincing as Gilas Pilipinas masterfully beat Chinese Taipei on the road, scoring a 93-71 decision Friday at the Taipei Heping Gymnasium for the third window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
The Philippines got off to a slow start anew and was down by as many as nine in the opening period.
But with Jayson Castro and Andray Blatche at the lead, Gilas managed to settle down quickly and kept things close until the second quarter.
Just before the end of the first half, the Philippines unloaded a telling 11-1 run to finally take over. Gilas was never truly threatened after that.
June Mar Fajardo dominated the second half, scoring 11 points in the third as the Philippines slowly pulled away.
Taipei kept things manageable heading to the fourth but Gilas finally dropped the hammer, taking the fight out of the hosts with a 25-11 bomb to win by 22 points, easily the best win for the national team in these Asian Qualifiers.
"Well I think it was just due to some good preps," head coach Chot Reyes said.
"Coming into this ball game we knew Chinsse Taipei will start strong. We just stayed with our game plan, our second unit played well," he added.
Fajardo scored 22 points, his new FIBA career high, to lead Gilas in scoring while Jayson Castro added 15 points.
Terrence Romeo came off the bench and added 14 points while Blatche had 13 points, 12 reboubds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks for a nice all-around performance.
The win pushed Gilas to a 4-1 record, setting up the highly-anticipated rematch against Australia Monday at the Philippine Arena.
With the Boomers taking a shock 78-79 loss to Japan on the road, the Philippines-Australia rematch will be for first place in Group B. Meanwhile, Taipei (1-4) and Japan (1-4) will square off to decide who moves on to the second round.
For Taipei, Quincy Davis scored 17 points to lead the hosts.
Gilas Pilipinas (93) - Fajardo 22, Castro 15, Romeo 14, Blatche 13, Norwood 8, Wright 6, Rosario 5, Jalalon 2, Pogoy 0, Aguilar 0, Abueva 0, Malicsi 0.
Chinese Taipei (71) - Davis 17, Lu 13, Chen Y. 11, Chou Y. 9, Chen K. 9, Yang 7, Tseng 3, Chou P. 2, Liu 0, Chiang 0, Su 0, Creighton 0.
Quarters: 16-19, 44-37, 68-60, 93-71.
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