Belo drops 30 on Kazakhstan as Gilas finally notches a win in FIBA Asia Challenge

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Mac Belo sizzled for 30 points as the fifth incarnation of the Gilas Pilipinas program finally scored a win in the FIBA Asia Challenge in Tehran with a 98-86 romp of Kazakhstan on Tuesday.

Belo shot 11-of-18 from the field for Gilas, which repulsed a huge challenge from Kazakhstan to keep its hopes of making the quarterfinals alive.

Gilas quickly raced to a 22-7 lead in the first quarter and eventually led by as much as 17, 65-48, in the third.

But Kazakhstan slowly chipped the lead and came to as close as four, 66-70, at the end of the period.

The game remained tight until Gilas unleashed a 17-5 run ignited by Belo's jumpers and highlighted by a dagger three from Kevin Ferrer to seal the win.

Belo also had 11 rebounds, three assists, and two steals for Gilas, which now needs to beat Jordan on Wednesday to get a better shot at making the Last 8.

Ed Daquioag added 17 points, four assists, and three steals, while Russel Escoto contributed 12 points, five rebounds, two assists, and one steal.

Mikhail Yevstigneyev battled through early foul trouble and finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, one block, and one steal for Kazakhstan.

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