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Gilas wallops Iraq to secure solo Group B lead in FIBA Asia Cup

Christian Standhardinger of Gilas Pilipinas during their second game in the FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut, Lebanon. | FIBA Photo

MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas leaned on a big third quarter to convincingly beat Iraq, 84-68, and snare the solo lead of Group B in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut, Lebanon, on Friday night.

Christian Standhardinger sparked a rally in the third frame. His perfect shooting in that period alone paved the way for a blistering 28-9 run against the gritty Iraqis.

Terrence Romeo, who was the brightest spot for Gilas against defending champion China Wednesday, reprised his role by scoring 10 points in the second half. He ended the game with a team-best 17 markers.

The Filipino-German Standhardinger finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and a steal.

Iraq dictated the tempo shortly after the opening buzzer. Behind Kevin Galloway, they went on a 19-17 start.

The naturalized Galloway snared his double-digit scoring early in the first period but had no answer for the Filipinos in the crucial third quarter. He was held scoreless in that phase, only attempting two shots — both of which coming from the three-point territory.  

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Carl Bryan Cruz provided the additional scoring punch for the Filipinos, tallying 11 points. RR Pogoy was a point shy from a double-digit production while skipper Gabe Norwood finished with eight.

The win propelled the Philippines into the ranks of New Zeland and Australia, both of which have secured two straight victories. The Tall Blacks currently lead Group C, while the Aussies are atop Group D.

Earlier, China made mincemeat of Qatar, 92-67. The latter is Gilas’ next assignment who they face on Sunday

Iraq and China have identical 1-1 records. Qatar, on the other hand, has yet to win after two outings. 



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