Gilas Pilipinas completed a three-game sweep of the preliminary round of the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup by beating Qatar, 80-74, on Sunday at the Beirut Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in Beirut, Lebanon.
Matthew Wright scored 25 points on 7-of-12 shooting from downtown while Carl Bryan Cruz added 13 points, Terrence Romeo and Gabe Norwood finished with 10 points apiece to lead the Filipinos, who are now at the top spot of quarterfinals.
The Filipinos will wait the winner between Japan and South Korea on Monday.
Norwood hit a corner trey to give the Filipinos a 49-29 lead with still 7:49 to go in the third quarter, but the Qataris came within 70-75 with only 2:06 remaining in the game after Abdulrahman Almuftah’s basket.
The Filipinos did not crumble, however. Wright nailed a three-pointer and followed up by Romeo’s jumper for an 80-72 lead with only 31 ticks left remaining. The Qataris, then, only connected one basket in the fading seconds.
Forward Calvin Abueva left the court with a sprained left foot after he accidentally slipped twice in the second quarter with 2:01 left. Filipino-German forward Christian Standhardinger did not play also because of stiff neck.
The Filipinos successfully defeated early opponents China (96-87) and Iraq (84-68) previously in the preliminary round.
Mansour Elhadary led Qatar with 23 points and Abdulrahman Saad had 18 points.