Gilas Pilipinas routs India, secures top seed in KO stage


GILAS-2Pilipinas on Tuesday banked on Terrence Romeo’s scoring prowess to shoot down India 99-65 at the close of the second round of competitions at the 28th FIBA Asia Championship Olympic Qualifying tournament at the Changsha Social Work College gymnasium in Changsha, China.

The flashy combo guard scored 20 points to lead the six Gilas players in double-digit scoring. The 23-year-old pro from Globalport dished out 4 assists and swiped the ball 3 times. Romeo hit nine points in the final quarter including a triple and a back-to-back jump shot that provided the Philippines an 87-60 cushion with only four minutes left in the game.

Naturalized reinforcement Andray Blatche also did well, putting up 15 points on 7-of-16 shooting, 3 rebounds and 5 steals, while Ranidel De Ocampo tallied 13 points of his own on 6-of-7 field goal shooting.

Jayson Castro, who scored 26 points in a huge win against Iran last Monday, finished with 12 points and six rebounds.

Bruiser Calvin Abueva, who finished with 12 points plus seven rebounds and three steals, scored eight straight points in the fourth frame to widen up the lead to 97-62 with only 1:56 remaining. The Nationals sealed their lopsided win with Matt Roser-Ganuelas’ slam in the end game.

India had a good start, leading after the first quarter, 17-16, before the Filipinos got their bearings and proceeded to take over.

Coach Tab Baldwin’s wards had a strong second period to take the lead at halftime, and they broke the game wide open in the last two quarters, building a lead as high as 37 points.

India was still within striking distance at the 8:24 mark of the fourth period, 66-58, but that was when the Philippines shifted into high gear and opened things up. Coach Baldwin’s wards unloaded a 29-2 blast in the next six minutes that deflated India and put the outcome beyond doubt.

The Indians, who had won their previous two games, leaned on the troika of Vishesh Bhrguvanshi, Amjyot Singh and Amrit Pal Singh, who combined to score 50 points. India’s bench wasn’t able to step up here, scoring just 3 points.

Indian will still advance to the knockout quarterfinal round despite the loss.

With its fifth straight victory in six games, Gilas Pilipinas has secured the top spot in Group E and most important, booked a quarterfinal seat. They face Lebanon in the crucial knockout stage.

After getting shell-shocked by Palestine on the opening day, the Philippines now enjoys a 5-1 win-loss record. Gilas Pilipinas defeated Hong Kong, Kuwait in the preliminary round before sweeping the second round with big wins over Japan, Iran and India.


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