Gilas turns back India, sets semis clash vs Iran

Posted at 07/17/14 7:23 PM

MANILA (UPDATED) - The Philippines weathered India's fourth quarter fightback to post a 70-66 win and seal a semifinals clash with Iran in the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup.

Gilas led by as much as 15 points against the taller Indians, but found themselves threatened near the end of the game when India whittled the Filipinos' lead to 4.

Paul Lee again paced Gilas with 15 points and got able backing from Marcus Douthit who had a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Gilas coach Chot Reyes, however, was unhappy after his wards nearly lost their lead down the stretch.

He said they were held scoreless for 5 minutes when the Indians made their final surge in the game.

“It’s a huge step back for us,” Reyes said in the FIBA Asia website. “I’m so upset at my team that I don’t have words to express.”

The Indians, which managed to upset powerhouse team China, kept the scoreline close in the opening period and trailed only by 3 points, 17-20.

But the Filipinos held down India and went on a 6-2 run that helped give Gilas a 42-24 advantage midway the second quarter.

The Indians recovered with a 9-3 run of their own to cut the Philippines' lead to 45-33.

India couldn't keep its offense going in the third, allowing the Philippine side to lead by as much as 15.

Things turned out differently in the final quarter when the Indians rallied to pull themselves within 5, 65-70, with 33 seconds to go. But the effort came in too late as Gilas managed to weather the charge and move to the semifinal round.

Amritpal Singh top-scored for India with 20 points to go with his 10 rebounds. Pratham Singh and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi had 10 points each.

Gilas will next face Iran, which defeated Jordan, 75-60, in their quarterfinals match.

The semis face-off will serve as a rematch between the two squads who battled in the FIBA Asia Championship finals in 2013.

Despite settling for silver in that match, the Philippines got a measure of respect for its best finish in the FIBA Asia tournament in 28 years.

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