• FIBA Asia: Philippines blasts Qatar, earns quarterfinal ticket

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    Gilas Pilipinas on Tuesday played better defense as it beat Qatar, 80-70 , to secure its third win and assure itself of a slot in the quarterfinal in the 27th FIBA-Asia Men’s Basketball Championship at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
    Jeff Chan continued was deadly from the three-point zone while Marcus Douthit dominated the paint as the national team led by as much 23 points, 55-32, with still 6:14 to go in the third
    quarter.

    The Filipino quintet canned a total of seven triples, with three from Chan, and one each from Jimmy Alapag, LA Tenorio, Gary David and Ranidel de Ocampo for a 29 percent shooting
    that dealt the Qataris their first setback in four outings.
    “This tournament is held here and we don’t want to let our countrymen down. But all those dunk shots were also because of the help of teammates. It was really a team effort,” said Japeth Aguilar, who finished with 14 points.
    Coach Chot Reyes’ team is expected to encounter less trouble against
    Hong Kong Wednesday while hoping that Qatar will beat Chinese-Taipei to
    forge a three-way tie at the top of Group A, which will be resolved through an Olympic quotient system.
    “Perhaps, we would be playing against China in the quarterfinal. If that happens then so be it. We will just have to prepare hard whichever our opponent in the next round,” said Reyes, anticipating that Gilas Pilipinas will settle for second in Group A and China is
    third in Group F.
    They also outrebounded the Qataris, 43-41, and shot 46 percent in the field on 19 of 41 attempts. Douthit topscored with 19 points on top of 14 rebounds and four
    assists, while Chan scored 12 and seven each from Tenorio and Jason
    “Castro” William.

    FRANK CALAPRE

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