|Victor Liz helped Dominican Republic avert disaster from Gilas Pilipinas. FIBA|
MANILA--Dominican Republic sent Gilas Pilipinas home from the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament through a 94-67 rout early Friday (Philippine Time) at the Aleksandar Nikolic Hall in Belgrade.
The Dominicans shut down the Filipinos in the second half just as things looked promising for the latter come halftime.
Gilas zoomed in the second quarter, beginning the period with an 11-2 run to take a 33-25 lead halfway through the frame.
Dominican Republic, however, turned the tides late in the third quarter, finishing with a 14-2 rally of its own to take a 65-51 lead entering the fourth, where the team continued pulling away from there.
Victor Liz put up 23 points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals for Dominican Republic, which booked the last semifinals berth for the tournament.
Gelvis Solano added 21 points, five assists, and three steals, while Mike Torres chipped in 20 markers, five rebounds, six dimes, and three interceptions.
Dominican Republic will next face Italy, 90-83 winner over Puerto Rico in the first game, in the knockout semifinals on Saturday.
Jordan Heading tallied 16 points, one board, three assists, and one steal for Philippine team, which will miss the Olympics for the 12th straight time.
This also means the number of Filipinos joining the 2021 edition in Tokyo remains at 17 barring FINA's announcement of the two swimmers who would get the continental quota spots.
Dominican Republic 94-Liz 23, Solano 21, Torres 20, Nunez 13, Francis 5, Rojas 4, Araujo 4, Mendoza 2, Santos 2, Henriquez 0, Feliz 0, Martinez 0
Philippines 67-Heading 16, Kouame 10, Sotto 8, Abarrientos 6, Navarro 6, Belangel 6, Baltazar 5, Tamayo 5, Nieto 4, Go 1, Chiu 0
Quarterscores: 23-22, 39-41, 65-51, 94-67
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