Gilas 3.0 gains top seed after 34-point beatdown of India

Gilas Pilipinas 3.0 needed to overcome a slow start to dispatch India, 99-65, as Gilas Pilipinas clinched the No.1 seed in Group E of the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship Tuesday at CSWC Dayun in Changsha, China. Terrence Romeo poured in 20 points, four assists and three steals off the bench, while Andray Blatche made 15 markers. Ranidel De Ocampo added 13 points as Gilas Pilipinas got 12 points apiece from Jayson Castro, Calvin Abueva and Marc Pingris. The victory propelled Gilas Pilipinas (4-1) to the top spot in Group E as the squad now will face the last-placed qualifier from the other group which could either be Lebanon or Jordan. But before pulling away with the blowout win, Gilas Pilipinas had to shake off India that put up a tough fight early in the game.

Courtesy: Fiba.com
The Filipinos, fresh from a massive upset of defending champion Iran on Monday, started the game flat as India had an answer to every Gilas Pilipinas basket early. Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and Amjyot Singh were India’s main men in the first half, scoring 13 and 11, respectively, in the first two quarters as they kept India just within striking distance all first half long. Romeo and De Ocampo, both coming off the bench, powered the Filipinos as they made 11 points apiece in the first half. Behind them, Gilas Pilipinas grabbed a 42-36 halftime lead, with De Ocampo burying a triple at the second quarter buzzer.


Gilas Pilipinas finally got some separation in the third quarter, raising its defense a notch higher with a full-court press to slow India down. Pingris, who suffered early foul trouble, gave the Filipinos a huge scoring boost with his patented one-handers as he made eight third quarter points to help Gilas Pilipinas finally open up a double-digit spread, 65-50, entering the final frame. India had one last run, threatening to stay close after trimming the deficit to eight points, 66-58, early in the fourth period following an 8-1 run. But the Filipinos flexed their muscles, countering with a 25-2 run highlighted by fastbreak plays to grab a 91-60 lead and take the fight out of India. Gilas Pilipinas will take a break on Wednesday before resuming play in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Philippines (99): Romeo 20, Blatche 15, De Ocampo 13, Castro 12, Abueva 12, Pingris 12, Hontiveros 6, Ganuelas 5, Norwood 2, Intal 2, Taulava 0, Thoss 0.

India (65): Bhriguvanshi 21, Singh A. 18, Singh Amjyot 11, Singh Yadwinder 7, Pari 5, Shinde 3, Hazra 0, Gill 0, Kaushik 0, Prakash Uppar 0, Vikas Kumar 0, Arumugam 0.


Quarter scores: 16-17, 42-36, 65-50, 99-65.
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