MANILA -– Gilas Pilipinas survived India’s fourth quarter surge enroute to a 70-66 victory on Thursday night to advance in the FIBA Asia Cup semifinals at the Wuhan Sports Centre in Wuhan, China.
The Filipino dribblers built a 60-47 after the first three quarters, enough to overcome a blistering 14-0 closing run of the Indians to preserve a win that sent Gilas to their straight semifinals stint in the tournament, formerly known as the Stankovic Cup.
Ranidel de Ocampo, Paul Lee and Marcus Douthit spearheaded the decisive run in the second and third quarters although the PHL nationals came out scoreless in the last five minutes of the game.
The Philippines will advance in the Final 4 against reigning champion Iran, the same team that defeated Gilas Pilipinas in last year’s FIBA Asia championship finals.
Despite losing to Iran, the Philippines earned a ticket to the FIBA World championship for the first time in four decades in Spain this coming August.
Iran defeated Jordan, 75-60, in other quarterfinals game to reach the semifinals.
Chinese Taipei, riding the crest of a fourth-place finish behind Iran, the Philippines and Korea in the last Asian meet at the MOA Arena in Manila, also advanced to the semis here with a 76-62 win over Japan.
Host China was the overwhelming favorite versus Singapore in their quarters match-up still being played at posting time.
The Philippines 70 – Lee 15, Douthit 14, De Ocampo 13, Washington 7, David 6, Alas 5, Dillinger 4, Aguilar 2, Tenorio 2, Fajardo 2, Belga 0, Lanete 0.
India 66 – A. Singh 20, P. Singh 10, Bhrivuganshi 10, J. Singh 9, A. Singh 8, Mishra 6, Y. Singh 2, Pethani 1.
Quarterscores: 20-17, 45-33, 60-47, 70-66.