FIBA Asia: Gilas Pilipinas bows to South Korea

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The Koreans thus avenged their loss to the Filipinos in their semifinal matchup in the 2013 Asian meet in Manila and, in the process, earned a spot in the semis against the victor of the Iran-Lebanon quarters setto.

The Philippines, which is No. 27 in the FIBA rankings, swept the preliminary round with impressive wins over defending champion China (96-87), Iraq (84-68) and Qatar (80-74) to proceed directly to the quarterfinal round.

The Filipinos' last win came on their home floor during the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships.

The Curse of South Korea is alive and well and all the hard work Gilas Pilipinas put in winning all three games in the group phase went down the drain to suffer a bitter end to its title hopes in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup.

Sekeun Oh led South Korea with a team-high 22 points, as the whole team torched Gilas from beyond the arc through 16/21 shooting. Employing their usual crisp ball movement, the Filipinos were a bit slow on the defensive end allowing the Koreans to easily penetrate and snipe from the outside.

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Gilas has been thriving on the boards with some gang rebounding, as three players average over five rebounds a game.

South Korea blew the game open to start the fourth quarter, turning a one-point lead into a 16-point advantage by forcing Japan into a string of turnovers and scoreless offensive possessions. He scored two points and four rebounds while struggling against quicker Korean bigs. Romeo, Castro, and Japeth Aguilar combined for a quick 10-2 run that cut the Korean's lead 43-51.

After being down by double digits early, the Philippines made it a game in the second quarter. In addition, the Filipinos kept missing shots at point blank range.

While the Philippines played sloppy defense in the opening half and throughout the game, it did receive another standout performance from guard Terrence Romeo. However, the Koreans are not to be denied as South Korea thoroughly outplayed the Philippines.

Sunhyung Kim led the South Koreans with 21 points.