Hot start leads Gilas to 30-point rout of Kazakhstan in q’finals
The Gilas Pilipinas barged into the semifinal round behind an awesome performance on both ends of the floor en route to registering a lopsided 88-58 win over Kazakhstan in the quarterfinal round of the 27th FIBA Asia Men’s Championship last night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Gary David finally broke out of his shooting slump and exploded for 22 points, half of which came in the opening period, where the Gilas shot the lights out to establish a 32-15 lead.
David, the PBA’s scoring champion who had previously been shooting a miserable 19 percent from the field, swished three straight three-point bombs that set the tone for the rest of the game.
All in all, the Nationals made 13 of their 30 attempts from beyond the rainbow area.
But the Kazakhs showed some fight as they sliced the deficit down the just six, 38-44, before the Gilas got baskets from naturalized center Marcus Douthit and locals Gabe Norwood and Japeth Aguilar restored a 51-40 halftime lead.
However, that was all she wrote for the Kazakhs as the Gilas put the game away with an incredible 20-0 run that spanned the third and fourth periods.
Aguilar starred late in the third as his defense sparked several fastbreak plays that fueled an 8-0 run for a 67-49 lead heading to the last stanza.
David came to life once again at the start of the fourth as he hit a three-pointer and followed that up with four straight freethrows off two unsportsmanlike fouls that called on Dmitriy Klimov, that was part of a 12-0 run.
Jayson Castro added 13 points while Aguilar continued his stellar play in this competition with 11 points, nine rebounds and two blocks that gave Douthit, who is suffering from an injured calf muscle, some much needed rest. Norwood chipped in 10 markers.
The Gilas will now wait for the winner of the quarterfinal game between Korea and Qatar, which was still being played in as of press time.
The other semifinal pairing will see the tournament favorites Iran taking on Chinese Taipei, which ousted reigning champion China, 96-78.
China’s loss marks the first time that they have missed the medal rounds since 2007 when they sent a developmental team to this tournament.
Iran kept its unbeaten streak going with a huge 94-50 win over Jordan.
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