The Philippine national men’s basketball team simply got outclassed by South Korea, 118-86, to bow out of contention in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup on Wednesday (early Thursday morning in the Philippines) at Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in Beirut, Lebanon.
Korea’s almost-flawless shooting and pesky zone defense were just too much for Gilas Pilipinas which trailed by as many as 34 points after allowing the Koreans to shoot an outstanding 76 percent (16/21) from downtown.
Terrence Romeo scored all of his 22 points in the second quarter, but even his explosion couldn’t lift the Filipinos who have now lost 10 of their past 11 matchups against their Asian rivals.
The Koreans had their guns ablaze right from the beginning as they pounced on the hapless Gilas Pilipinas defense with their torrid three-point shooting.
But Romeo kept the Filipinos afloat with his off-the-dribble moves that slightly stunned the opponents. The problem was that the Koreans had an answer to his baskets to build a 16-point lead, 49-33, despite his outburst.
Gilas Pilipinas managed to cut the deficit to just eight points, 57-49, but Korea pulled away with a dominant 29-13 third quarter to take the fight out of the Filipinos.
Christian Standhardinger added 17 points and four boards as RR Pogoy contributed 12 markers. Jayson Castro also finished with 11 points and four dimes.
June Mar Fajardo made his first appearance in the tournament after being sidelined by a calf injury. He scored two points and four rebounds while struggling against quicker Korean bigs.
Gilas Pilipinas still has games left in the classification round. It will next face the loser of the Iran-Lebanon quarterfinal game on Saturday.