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South Korea weathers Romeo's storm, ousts Gilas


By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Gilas once again hit the Korean roadblock.

South Korea banked on a hot shooting streak and a huge defensive stand in the third quarter to eliminate Gilas, 118-86, at the Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in Beirut early Thursday (Philippine Time).

The Koreans began pummeling the Filipinos from 22 feet early to counter the latter's clear cuts to the basket thanks to Jayson Castro's playmaking and Chris Standhardinger's off-ball movement and took a 26-18 lead after the first quarter.

South Korea tried to complete the demolition in the second quarter, but Terrence Romeo kept Gilas afloat with a hot scoring streak to stay within eight at halftime.

The Koreans found the breakthrough right after halftime, leaning on its crisp ball movements, long-range shooting, and defense to open an 86-62 lead after the third quarter and never looked back. They outscored their rivals, 29-13, in the said period.

Oh Se-Keun led South Korea, which will face the winner of the Iran-Lebanon game later Thursday in the semifinals, with 22 points, five rebounds, and one steal.

Kim Sun-Hyung added 21 points, three rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

Romeo finished with 22 points, all in the second period, for Gilas, but he was completely shut down come the second half.

Chris Standhardinger contributed 17 points, four boards, and one steal for Gilas, which will be relegated to a playoff for fifth to eighth places.

Junemar Fajardo played for the first time in all competition since injuring his right calf and chipped in two markers and four caroms in nearly six-and-a-half minutes of play.

Box Scores:

South Korea 118-Oh 22, S. Kim 21, J. Kim 15, S. Lee 14, Ju. Lee 11, Choi 9, Heo 9, Park 9, Yang 5, Jeon 3, Lim 0

Philippines 86-Romeo 22, Standhardinger 17, Pogoy 12, Castro 11, Aguilar 7, Wright 6, Jalalon 5, Abueva 2, Fajardo 2, Almazan 2, Norwood 0, Cruz 0

Quarterscores: 26-18, 57-49, 86-62, 118-86

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno