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Gilas smothers India, claims Group E top seed heading into knockout stages



Gilas Pilipinas leaned on a fourth quarter assault to trample India in their final second round match, 99-65 to claim the pole position in Group E of the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship Tuesday in Changsha, China.

The Philippines went on a stretch, firing 22 unanswered points to bury India for good in the fourth period and complete a three-game sweep of the second round.

Six players finished in double-digits for Gilas, which outscored India 34-15 in the final quarter. The Southeast Asian nation shall face the fourth-seeded squad in Group F.

Gilas struggled to break away from India early as their counterparts relied on size, towering underneath the basket in the first frame.

Amjyot Singh and Amritpal Singh took turns in giving blows to the Philippines as India seized a 14-9 lead.

Vishesh Bhriguvanshi then waxed hot from the outside, but Terrence Romeo got going offensively as Gilas took a slim 35-34 edge.

In the third period, Gilas went on a full court press which paved the way for uncontested baskets in transition. Jayson Castro scored four straight via fastbreak, while Marc Pingris and Andray Blatche added baskets inside to build a 59-45 lead.

Later, Bhriguvanshi nailed back to back triples in the fourth to pull India within 58-66, before the Philippines responded with a back-breaking run as Romeo, Blatche, and Calvin Abueva joined hands to put the game away.

Romeo led the nationals with 20 points off the bench, playing in less than 23 minutes. Blatche added 15 points while Ranidel de Ocampo had 13 markers.

Three others scored a dozen points, as Gilas shot 48.2 percent from the field. The team also outscored India’s bench, 52-3.

The Philippines takes a breather on Wednesday before going back to action on Thursday where it guns for three straight wins to clinch the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic berth.


Romeo to Ganuelas alley-oop

Game highlights

The Scores:
Philippines (99) – Romeo 20, Blatche 15, De Ocampo 13, Pingris 12, Castro 12, Abueva 12, Hontiveros 6, Ganuelas 5, Norwood 2, Intal 2, Thoss 0, Taulava 0.
India (65) – Bhriguvanshi 21, Amj. Singh 18, Amr. Singh 11, Ya. Singh 7, Pari 5, Shinde 3, Prakash Uppar 0, Kaushik 0, Arugugam 0, Gill 0, Kumar 0.
Quarterscores: 16-17, 42-36, 65-50, 99-65.