Asian Qualifiers 2018:
Gilas survives trey barrage, decks Qatar NT, 92-81
September 17, 2018 – Araneta Coliseum
by Rock Punzalan
Asian Qualifiers 2018 News: Gilas Pilipinas survived a first-half scare as it defeated a determined Qatar NT in the FIBA World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers this Monday evening at the Araneta Coliseum. Japeth Aguilar led the Gilas fightback with his 16 points and 8 rebounds, while Alex Cabagnot made-up for his lackluster performance in his game against Iran, and ended-up with 16 markers as well.
➤ Stanley Pringle also contributed 13 points for Gilas Pilipinas, while “Big” Beau Belga chipped-in 11 points.
➤ Pilipinas outrebounded Qatar as they hauled 54 caroms to 40, while also maximizing bench scoring at 66 to 8.
➤ Qatar NT led by as much 17 points in the first half, 20-37, as they shot an unbelievable 7 of 13 (54%) three-point shooting barrage. The Filipinos turned the tide in the third quarter as they wrestled the lead 59-58, courtesy of a 20-6 run, as they made crucial defensive stops to stifle the pesky Qataris.
➤The Filipinos played minus their home-crowd as they are serving their first game of two suspensions to play home games without an audience. FIBA served the penalty due to the infamous Australia-Philippines brawl last July in Bulacan’s Philippine Arena.
➤ The losing Qataris were led by big man Mohd Yousuf Mohammed who scored 26 points and 7 rebounds, while Tanguy Ngombo and Nasser Al-Reyes both finished with 17 buckets.
➤ Aguilar and Matthew Wright replaced Allein Maliksi and Raymond Almazan for the Qatar joust, while Pringle was chosen as the naturalized player instead of Christian Stanhardinger for this game.
➤ Greg Slaughter did not suit-up due to his ankle injury.
➤ The Philippine basketball team will next face Kazakhstan NT on November 30 to continue their Asian Qualifiers joruney.