Gilas Pilipinas moved closer to the 19th Asian Games men’s basketball medal rounds after a dominant 80-41 win over Qatar in the qualification game for the quarterfinals on Monday at the Zhejiang University Gymnasium in Hangzhou, China.
The Philippines will move to the quarterfinals against Iran on Tuesday at noon for a chance to improve on its fifth-place finish back in 2018.
The Philippines got off to a phenomenal start, with Arvin Tolentino’s triple pushing the first-quarter lead up to 29-8.
An 8-0 run that closed the second quarter pushed the advantage up to 57-23 entering the halftime break.
June Mar Fajardo and CJay Perez led the balanced offensive effort which saw seven Filipinos score eight or more points.
Fajardo, the six-time Philippine Basketball Association Most Valuable Player, and his fellow San Miguel Beermen Perez had 12 points apiece. Calvin Oftana added 11 points, while Japeth Aguilar and Justin Brownlee contributed nine markers each.
Coach Tim Cone’s wards shot 51 percent from the field and shut Qatar down to just 21 percent. Gilas also dished out 21 assists in an impressive display of team basketball.