AFRAID of the possibility that the Filipinos might lull themselves into complacency, national coach Chot Reyes has quickly cautioned Gilas Pilipinas to remain low-key as looming campaign gets tougher in the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup.
“We have to keep the low-key attitude and have the hungry in us,” Reyes told Fiba.com.
Reyes made the caution after the Filipinos clinched their second straight victory in the preliminaries with an 84-68 spanking of Iraq Friday night at the Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in Beirut.
The Filipinos have now notched their second straight win counting their last Wednesday’s vengeful 96-87 victory over China to virtually clinch the top seeding in Group B.
With the win, their game against Qatar at 9 p.m. today doesn’t hold much bearing anymore. This means they will still clinch the top seeding via tiebreak since they defeated both China and Iraq.
However, Gilas cannot afford to be lulled into a state of complacency, specially since each day is expected to get tougher as the tournament progresses.
Qatar tumbled out of contention for the two berths in Pool B after a 67-92 loss to China on Friday.
Terrence Romeo delivered another yeoman job, as he dazzled with 17 points, including 11 points in the third quarter when the Filipinos made the telling run that enabled them to extricate themselves from a close contest and enjoy lead they gamely sustained en route to victory.
Held to just three points after going 1-of-7 from the field in the first half, Romeo exploded for 11 points in the third quarter, with his two free throws capping a 24-4 run that put the Filipinos unassailably ahead, 56-35.
Romeo also had four assists, two rebounds, and one steal in 21 minutes.
There were many heroes actually for the Philippines in that win, most notable of them was new naturalized big man Christian Standhardinger.
The 6-foot-10 Fil-German was solid as he tallied 16 points, 7 rebounds and 1 steal.
Philippines (84) – Romeo 17, Standhardinger 16, Cruz 11, Pogoy 9, Norwood 8, Wright 8, Aguilar 5, Jalalon 4, Abueva 3, Almazan 2, Castro 1
Iraq (68) – Galloway 23, Hamzah 12, Al-Khafaji 8, Ismael 6, Hameed 5, Hamad 5, Abdullah 3, Dhafer 2, Talib 2, Alfburi 2, Aljuboori 0, Alazawi 0