CHRISTIAN Standhardinger hit 13 third-quarter points – and Terrence Romeo dropped 11 in the same quarter – as Philippines backed up their opening win over China by beating Iraq at the FIBA Asia Cup.
Chot Reyes’ side are now in pole position to win Group B ahead of China, who recovered from their opening-game loss to beat Qatar in Lebanon.
With Andray Blatche missing, his replacement as Gilas’ naturalised player, Standhardinger, hit 16 points – 13 of them in the third quarter – as Philippines won 84-68.
The lead routinely changed hands in the opening two quarters, before Stanhardinger and Romeo (17 points in total) inspired Philippines to a dominant third, in which they outscored Iraq 28-9.
That laid the foundations for a second victory in three days, despite a talismanic performance from Iraq’s naturalised star, Kevin Galloway.
The Californian hit 23 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and had six assists and two steals – but his efforts in proved in vain against a Gilas side who are thriving in Beirut.
Guo Ailun and China finally showed up at the party, the 23-year-old guard inspiring his team to a 92-67 win over Qatar in the other Group B game.
Guo hit 30 points as he went 11-for-17 from the field and five-for-eight from three, as China – a brief second-quarter wobble aside – led throughout to get their campaign back on track.
Hu Jinqiu had 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Qatar’s Ali Saeed Erfan put up 18 points and seven rebounds for the losing side.
Iran and Jordan are heading for a winner-takes-all contest in Group A on Sunday after both teams extended their records to 2-0 on day four.
Iran brushed aside Syria, 87-63, leading from early in the first quarter until the end.
Behnam Yakhchali went nine-for-13 from the field – and seven-for-10 from three – among a host of fine individual performances within Iran’s dominant team display.
Hamed Hadadi contributed 12 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists as Iran stated their intentions in a comfortable victory.
Standing in their way of a clean sweep in Group A are Jordan, who beat India 61-54 but failed to impress.
In a low-scoring, low-quality and largely forgettable game, neither side shot more than 36.7 percent from the field, with Jordan prevailing despite missing 48 of their 73 field-goal attempts.
Ahmed Alhamarsheh’s 13 rebounds – eight of them off missed Indian shots – proved crucial, while Mousa Alawadi hit 22 points for the victors.
Day four by numbers
Top points scorers: 30 – Guo Ailun, 25 – Behnam Yakhchali (Iran), 23 – Kevin Galloway (Iraq), 22 – Micheal Madanly (Syria), Mousa Alawadi (Jordan), 19 – Abdulrahman Saad (Qatar), 18 – Ali Saeed Erfan (Qatar), 17 – Terrence Romeo (Philippines), Amjyot Singh Gill (India)
Top rebounders: 14 – Kevin Galloway (Iraq), 13 – Hamed Hadadi (Iran), Ahmed Alhamarsheh (Jordan), 12 – Hu Jinqiu (China), Oshin Sahakian (Iran), 10 – Aravind Annadurai (India), 9 – Yousef AbuWazaneh (Jordan), Amritpal Singh (India)
Most assists: 9 – Mohammad Jamshidijafarabadi (Iran), Hamed Hadadi (Iran), 6 – Kevin Galloway (Iraq), 5 – Jayson Castro (Philippines), Mah’d Abdeen (Jordan)
Best team field-goal percentage: 54.1 – China
Worst team field-goal percentage: 34.2 – Jordan
Day five action (Saturday, August 12)
Group C: South Korea v New Zealand, Kazakhstan v Lebanon; Group D: Japan v Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei v Australia.