HANGZHOU - Gilas Pilipinas completed the job right away, battering Qatar, 80-41, to advance in the quarterfinals of the 19th Asian Games at the Zijingang gymnasium inside the Zhejiang University on Monday.
"The whole game allowed us to work. It was almost like a practice for us, practicing for Iran. And that big lead from the beginning gave us an opportunity to practice for Iran," said Gilas coach Tim Cone.
The Filipinos went storming out of the gates and jumped to an early 33-14 lead by the time the first quarter was over.
The Qataris hardly put up any resistance as Gilas coasted to the wire-to-wire win.
The national team won't have enough time to savor the moment as it now focuses on its quarterfinal assignment against undefeated Iran.
Gilas tangle with the Iranians, the top seeded team in Pool A, at 12 noon of Tuesday.
June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez led Gilas with 12 points apiece, while Calvin Oftana was the other player in double figures with 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc.
Justin Brownlee, who led the team in scoring in all of its previous outings, only had nine this time as Cone opted to play him limited minutes and preserve him against Iran.
"We want to get off quick and get the lead so we could bring Justin out of the game and have him ready for tomorrow against Iran. That was one of our main goals and we're able to do that," added Cone.
Philippines (80) - Fajardo 12, Perez 12, Oftana 11, Brownlee 9, Aguilar 9, Kouame 8, Alas 8, Tolentino 6, Thompson 3, Newsome 2.
Qatar (41) - Muslic 12, Ndoye 7, Mousa 5, Ndao 5, Lashin 4, Haracic 3, Dieng 2, Advic 2, Darwish 1.
Quarterscores: 33-14; 57-23; 73-30; 80-41.