Gilas Pilipinas overcame fatigue to repulse Hong Kong, 67-55, and top Group E in the elimination phase in the 27th FIBA-Asia Men’s Basketball Championship at the SM
Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The national team struggled all throughout the game but managed one final push in the final period to post its fourth win in five games in the tournament.
Gilas Pilipinas regained the lead 63-54 on Gabe Norwood’s five straight points capped
by a three-point play with 2:46 minutes remaining.
Hong Kong, already out of contention, jumped to an early 7-0 lead, which ballooned to 16-10 late in the first quarter.
“Hong Kong played a great game. I should not have used Marcus Douthit
for longer minutes, but I have to because we need him badly in the
game. There is no such thing really as easy victory here,” said national head coach
The victory relegated Qatar to the no. 2 sport in Group E and Chinese-Taipei to
and no. 3. Hong Kong, which was pushed down to the classification phase, remain winless in five games.
“We were off and Hong Kong played good defense. So we have to find a
way to win,” said Gabe Norwood, who finished with 11 points and 10
The quarterfinal round cast is now complete with the Philippines lording in Group E with 4-1 slate followed by Qatar (4-1) at no. 2, Chinese-Taipei (4-1) for no. 3 and Jordan (2-3) at no. 4.
In Group F, Iran is no. 1 with 5-0 card, South Korea no. 2 with 4-1, China with 3-2 at no. 3 and Kazakhstan at no. 4 with 2-3.
Philippines will be facing Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals with Iran taking on Jordan and South Korea against Chinese-Taipei. The other quarterfinal match pits China against Qatar on Friday.
“Kazakhstan is a dangerous team. So our approach in the quarterfinals would be different already,” Reyes said.