SMART Gilas-Pilipinas 2.0 booked a seat in the crossover, knockout stage of the Fiba Asia Cup after routing Uzbekistan , 85-50, Sunday at the Ota gym in Tokyo, Japan.
It was the second straight win for the Nationals (2-1) after an opening day loss to China as they clinch one of four quarterfinal seats up for grabs in Group A.
They cap their preliminary round campaign by taking on winless Macau on Monday.
“I am really proud of the way the team has reacted so far,” said coach Chot Reyes of the Nationals, who led by as many as 83-46 in the final three minutes of the game on a slam by Fil-Am rookie Matt Rosser.
Jeff Chan had 20 points to lead the Nationals, all of whom were given enough playing minutes by Reyes including Rosser, who had eight points and 11 rebounds.
"Easy game today, much needed rest," said Marcus Douthit on his Twitter account.
The Nationals broke the game open behind a 17-0 run in the second period to stretch a tight four-point lead to 37-16 just before the half.
“I think we did well to stop them (Uzbeks). These are games we need to put away like this,” added Reyes.
Uzbekistan was led by the 16 of Vyacheslav Denisov, while Samender Juginisov had a double-double of 12 and 10 rebounds.