Terrence Romeo and Christian Standhardinger conspired in a huge third quarter run to help the Philippine national men’s basketball team ward off Iraq, 84-68, for its second straight win in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup on Friday at Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in Beirut, Lebanon.
The two combined for 23 of Gilas Pilipinas’ 28 points in a blistering third frame that saw the Filipinos score 21 unanswered points and pummel the Iraqis, 28-9, who gave them a tough fight in the first half.
The PBA star guard tallied 17 points and four assists to lead the Filipinos once again in scoring after delivering heroics against China last Wednesday.
The Filipino-German finished with 16 points and seven boards as he sparked the second half run Gilas Pilipinas needed to hold off Iraq. Standhardinger and Romeo scored 12 and 11 markers, respectively, in the third quarter.
Gilas Pilipinas is now on the brink of sweeping Group B, and has formally secured the top seed in the bracket and the outright spot in the quarterfinals. The team will next take on Qatar on Sunday to round up the group stages.
With naturalized player Kevin Galloway carrying them, the Iraqis stood their ground against the Filipinos in the first two quarters.
He scored 11 points just in the opening quarter while his teammates provided the physicality and toughness that shut down Gilas Pilipinas early.
The Filipinos just took a slim 32-31 halftime lead but woke up in the third quarter. Standhardinger muscled his way inside to score 10 straight points and give Gilas Pilipinas a 42-35 lead.
Romeo then followed suit by making seven consecutive points. His three-pointer pushed their lead to 14 points, 49-35.
Gilas Pilipinas also held Galloway scoreless in the quarter.
Thanks to their all-around effort, the Filipinos bagged a 60-40 lead entering the final frame which was too much to overcome for Iraq.