Wuhan, China– After suffering defeat in the first round group matches, the Smart Gilas Pilipinas went undefeated in the second round group matches. They defeated Jordan, Japan, and Syria in succession. In the match against Syria, the Filipino cagers were not their usual selves as they trailed 23-32 at half-time. What coach Rajko Toroman said at the break must have worked as the Philippine team dominated the last two quarters to end up winning 75-52 and enter the quarterfinal round brimming with confidence.
After trailing by 9 in the first half, the Philippines outscored the Syrians 26-13 in the 3rd period. Entering the final canto, the Gilas were only leading by 4 at 49-45. A back-breaking 15-0 blast to start the quarter ended all hopes of the Goran Milijevic-mentored squad to upset Team Pilipinas. The 4 point lead ballooned to a 64-45 rout. It was cruise control for the Gilas from that point.
Marcus Douthit was the only Gilas player in double figures with 20 points but all his teammates scored in this game with the whole Chinese-Taipei team watching in the gallery. Syria was lead by Al Hamowi’s 11 markers.
Next up for the Gilas will be Chinese-Taipei who finished 3rd in their group behind Iran and Korea. The other quarterfinal pairing will be China vs. Lebanon, Korea vs. Japan, and Iran vs. Jordan.
Smart Gilas Phl 75 – Douthit 20, Tiu 8, De Ocampo 8, Lutz 7, Casio 7, Alapag 6, Lassiter 5, Taulava 4, Aguilar 4, Barroca 2, Williams 2, Baracael 2.
Syria 52 – Al Hamowi 11, Georges 9, Jililati 8, Nalbadian 6, Al Saman 5, Deeb 4, Lubus 3, Daks 2, Osfira 0, Al Katib 0.
Quarterscores: 14-11, 23-32, 49-45, 75-52
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