CHANGSHA, China — Gilas Pilipinas shrugged off some rugged plays by Kuwait and overcame horrible early free throw shooting to score a 110-64 rout on Friday in the Fiba Asia Championship at the Changsha Social Work College gymnasium.
Solid but unimpressive against a Kuwait team rated 16th in the continent, fifth-ranked Gilas has scored two straight victories by an average 48.5 winning margin.
After a dismal start, Gilas Pilipinas formally moves on to the second round with first-round tormentor Palestine and Hong Kong. The Kuwaitis wound up winless in the preliminaries and will play the classification round.
Joining them from Group A are unbeaten titleholder Iran, Japan (2-1) and India (1-2).
The tournament takes a break on Saturday after three straight days of action.
Gilas went off to a fast start, with Jayson Castro picking up from where he left off a day before, scoring eight quick points to spark another demolition.
With Kuwait playing a little physical, the Filipinos were sent to the stripe often but failed to capitalize early, going 14 for 26 for just 53 percent in the first 20 minutes of action.
But while they struggled from the line, the Filipinos still made their field goals in a 26-0 blast bridging the first and second quarters putting them in firm control, although they later allowed Kuwait to launch a 12-2 run.
With a sizeable lead in the second half, Gilas Pilipinas also got sloppy running the plays, showed some lapses in defense, and let their rivals under their skin, at one point allowing Kuwait to kill the momentum after a Calvin Abueva unsportsmanlike foul on A. Alseid.
Terrence Romeo led Gilas Pilipinas with 19 points, Castro finished with 16, while Calvin Abueva and JC Intal had 10 each.
Abdulrahman Alshammari scored 15 for Kuwait, Abdullah Alsaeid had 13 points and Mashari Abu Dhom chipped in with 12 for Kuwait.
The Philippines made 41 of 73 field goal attmepts for 56.2 percent and shot a total 61.3 percentage from the free throw line.
Gilas Pilipinas 110 – Romeo 19, Castro 16, Abueva 10, Intal 10, De Oampo 9, Taulava 9, Hontiveros 9, Blatche 8, Thoss 8, Ganuelas 6, Norwood 4, Pingris 2.
Kuwait 64 – A. Alshammari 15, Alsaeid 13, Abu Dhom 12, Alhamidi 9, Borhamah 7, Aljuma’h 5, Hasan 3, M. Alshammari 0, Marzuoq 0, Alzafiri 0.
For more Gilas stories, go to: