FIBA Asia: Gilas Pilipinas bows to South Korea
It didn't look like it was a curse out there.
South Korea simply played better, all-around basketball against Gilas Pilipinas, period. The result was a 118-86 blowout win on Wednesday night by the South Koreans who will advance to the semifinals of the FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut, Lebanon.
Gilas found no answer to South Korea, which showed up with the same arsenal that has been the staple of its game—torrid outside shooting, effective passing and a speed that kills.
So fluid was Korea’s offense that most of its baskets came from an open man, thanks to a well-planned ball distribution as shown by its 34 assists against the Philippines’ 14.
Korea’s had more balanced scoring with three of its players finishing in double digits, with Sunhyung Kim leading with 21 points, and three more players coming up with identical 9 points each.
Terrence Romeo led Gilas with 22 points, all in the second quarter where he singlehandedly kept Gilas in the thick of the fight as the Koreans closed out the half with just six points lead, 55-49.
But the Koreans pressed on the gas pedal in the third—shooting at will from beyond the arc and attacking the hoops more aggressively—as their lead snowballed to 25 points, 87-62 at the end of the quarter.
Frustrations grew further in the fourth as Gilas eventually succumbed to its first loss after a three-game sweep of the Group B eliminations against China, Iraq and Qatar.
Notwithstanding the loss, there was nothing to fret, however.
This FIBA event was not a qualifier to the FIBA World Cup or the Olympics as teams only battled for pride and the FIBA Asia trophy.
The event to look forward to is in November where Gilas Pilipinas face off with Australia, Japan and Chinese Taipei in a home-and-away qualifier for the FIBA World Cup in 2019.