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Gilas Pilipinas Beat Qatar, Clinch Top Spot in Group B at 2017 FIBA Asia Cup – Bleacher Report

Philippines basketball player Gabe Norwood runs with the ball during a FIBA AsiaCup 2017 group match against China, in the Lebanese town of Zouk Mikael north of Beirut on August 9, 2017.
Phillippines won over China 96 to 87. / AFP PHOTO / JOSEPH EID        (Photo credit should read JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)

JOSEPH EID/Getty Images

Gilas Pilipinas clinched the top spot in Group B at the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup on Sunday with an 80-74 win over Qatar.

Matthew Wright paced the Philippines, scoring 25 points and adding four assists, while Gabe Norwood added 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Carl Cruz (13 points) and Terrence Romeo (10 points) also had strong games for Gilas.

Mansour Elhadary (23 points, six assists) and Abdulrahman Saad (18 points, 11 rebounds) led the way for Qatar.

Wright was particularly effective from beyond the arc, shooting 7-of-12, per Alexx Esponja of Rappler: 

The Philippines got a huge contribution from its backups, as the bench provided 32 points, compared to just 14 points from Qatar’s backups. Gilas also dominated on the boards, 42-34, including a 15-6 advantage on the offensive glass.

Qatar struggled from beyond the arc (27.3 percent) and at the charity stripe (55.6 percent) as well. Nonetheless, the team put up a fight, as FIBA noted:

The win left Gilas unbeaten in group play and with a first-round bye in the knockout stages, as Jane Bracher of Rappler noted:

The team will face the winner of South Korea vs. Japan in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Qatar, meanwhile, finished the group stage without a win and did not advance to the knockout stages.

Gilas Pilipinas Beat Qatar, Clinch Top Spot in Group B at 2017 FIBA Asia Cup – Bleacher Report}

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