Gilas topples Iraq to take group top seed

Gilas Pilipinas (Philippines National Team) defeated a rugged Iraq, 84-68, to vault to the top of the standings in Group B seeding in the ongoing 2017 FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut, Lebanon.

Gilas’ Gabe Norwood tries to drive against the defense of Iraq’s Kevin Galloway. (Photo courtesy of: inquirer.net)

Spitfire guard Terrence Romeo again provided the needed spark in the third canto exploding for 11 points that made Gilas pull away from a slim 32-31 halftime lead.

Gilas dropped a 24-4 run that took Iraq out of the game with only naturalized player Kevin Galloway leading the charge in the first half.

The victory was a follow-up from the shocking upset win, a 96-87 conquest of Asian powerhouse China last August 9.

Romeo paced Gilas with 17 points riding on three triples, four assists, two rebounds and a steal.

Christian Standhardinger added 16 markers and seven boards to negate its previous letdown against the same team in the recently concluded Jones Cup in Taipei.

Carl Bryan Cruz played his best game wearing the national colors by scoring 11 points with a 3-of-3 clip from the three-point line, three assists and two caroms.

 

The scores:

Philippines (84) – Romeo 17, Standhardinger 16, Cruz 11, Pogoy 9, Norwood 8, Wright 8, Aguilar 5, Jalalon 4, Abueva 3, Almazan 2, Castro 1.

Iraq (68) – Galloway 23, Hamzah 12, Al-Khafaji 8, Ismael 6, Hameed 5, Hamad 5, Abdullah 3, Dhafer 2, Talib 2, Alfburi 2, Aljuboori 0, Alazawi 0.

Quarterscores: 17-19, 32-31, 60-40, 84-68.

 

Game highlights:

 

 

Aris Ignacio is from the Philippines and has always been a big fan of Philippine basketball. Aris’ follows the Philippine Basketball Association since the late 80’s and has learned the history and personalities of the PBA. He also has interest with other basketball tournaments in the Philippines and beyond most specifically college basketball (UAAP, NCAA), the Asian Basketball League (ABL), FIBA Asia and World Cup tournaments. Global Basketball is Aris’ second writing assignment besides Asia-basket.com. Follow Aris Ignacio on Twitter at aris_ignacio.

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