A very determined Gilas Pilipinas armed with flawless shooting buried Qatar to the ground! Next up Kazakhstan!

Gilas Pilipinas defeated Qatar, 84-46 on the road to stay alive for a slot in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Andray Blatche led Philippines with 17 points along with 15 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks in his return to Gilas after his suspension due to the Gilas-Australia brawl.

Marcio Lassiter with 14 points and was perfect 4/4 from 3. Paul Lee scored 13 points and grabbed 7 rebounds and was 3 out of 4 from the three-point line. Jayson Castro with 11 points while Japeth Aguilar contributed 10 points and 5 rebounds.

Philippines shot 50% from the three-point line (15/30) and with 21 assists against 8 only for Qatar.

Gilas now with a 6-5 record with 1 more game remaining in the FIBA Qualifiers against Kazakhstan on Feb 24 in another game on the road. Our best chance to qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup is to be the best 4th placed team.

Team Pilipinas relies on defense, Blatche spark to roll past Qatar
ANDRAY Blatche made a rousing comeback for Team Pilipinas, leading the national squad to a 84-46 win over Qatar on Thursday night in the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers at the Al-Ghafara Sports Club Multi-Purpose Hall in Doha.

Blatche had 17 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and two blocks in his first game back for the Philippines after serving out a suspension and being left out of the lineup for the previous window of the qualifiers.

Blatche hit three three-pointers in the third quarter when the Philippines outscored its hosts, 31-9, to pull away for good in what was easily its most impressive performance since Yeng Guiao took over the coaching chores from Chot Reyes.

The naturalized player completed a three-point play off a dunk for the Philippines’ first points of the night to set the tone for the match.

A ruthless defense took care of the rest, limiting the host team to just 16 field goals and 28 percent shooting.

By improving to 6-5 (win-loss), Team Pilipinas stayed in fourth place in Group F, a game behind joint second-placers Iran and Japan. Australia leads the group with a 10-1 mark after an 81-60 win at Kazakhstan.

The Philippines’ win also put pressure on Lebanon (6-4) and Jordan (5-5) to win their next assignments against China and New Zealand, respectively. Lebanon currently shares third place with China while Jordan is in fifth place in Group E.

The top three teams in Groups E and F and the best fourth-placed team will move to the Fiba World Cup.

Game Scores:
Philippines 84 – Blatche 17, Lassiter 14, Lee 13, Castro 11, Aguilar 10, Barroca 7, Erram 6, Rosario 4, Norwood 2, Fajardo 0, Ravena 0, Thompson 0.

Good job Gilas Pilipinas on your win against the Qatar Team. And thank you for making the Philippines a proud basketball nation.