By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--Gilas sizzled in the third quarter to blast Iraq, 84-68, in their FIBA Asia Cup match at the Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in Beirut on Friday night.
Terrence Romeo and Chris Standhardinger, who starred in Gilas' huge win against China on Wednesday night, were the suspects again for the Philippine team's offensive surge immediately after halftime.
But it was the defense that played vital for Gilas' rout of Iraq, keeping its opponent scoreless for seven and a half minutes in the third quarter. Gilas eventually outscored Iraq in the third, 28-9.
Iraq still put up a bit of the fight in the fourth quarter, but the team lost steam in the end.
Romeo finished with 17 points, two rebounds, four assists, and one steal, while Standhardinger added 16 points, seven rebounds, and one steal for Gilas, which is now 2-0 in Group B play.
Kevin Galloway led Iraq, which fell to 1-1, with 23 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, two blocks, and two steals.
Gilas sealed the top seed--and an outright quarterfinal seat--in its group, but the team can complete a 3-0 sweep of its group stage assignments with a win against Qatar on Sunday night.
Philippines 84-Romeo 17, Standhardinger 16, Cruz 11, Pogoy 9, Wright 8, Norwood 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, Talib 2, Algburi 2, Dhafer 2, Aljuboori 0, Alazawi 0
Quarterscores: 17-19, 32-31, 60-40, 84-68
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