Philippines blow past India to top Group E

 29 Sep 2015 - 16:04

Philippines blow past India to top Group E

CHANGSHA-HUNAN (2015 FIBA Asia Championship) - The Philippines caught fire in the second half to blow past India, 99-65, at the close of Group E action in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship.

India had a good start to this game, leading after the first quarter, 17-16, before the Filipinos got their bearings and proceeded to take over. Coach Tab Baldwin’s wards had a strong second period to take the lead at the halftime break, and they broke the game wide open in the last two quarters, building a lead as high as 37 points.

Terrence Romeo was the golden boy for the Philippines here, leading six Filipino players in double-digit scoring. Andray Blatche also did well, putting up 15 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 steals, while Ranidel De Ocampo tallied 13 points of his own on 6-of-7 field goal shooting.

The Indians, winners of their previous two games, leaned on the troika of Vishesh Bhrguvanshi, Amjyot Singh, and Amrit Pal Singh, who combined to score 50 points. India’s bench wasn’t able to step up here, scoring just 3 points.

Turning Point: India was still within striking distance at the 8:24 mark of the fourth period, 66-58, but that was when the Philippines shifted into high gear and opened things up. Coach Baldwin’s squad unloaded a 29-2 blast in the next six minutes that deflated India and put the outcome beyond doubt.

Stats Don't Lie: Fluid offense and tenacious defense were the Filipinos’ calling cards in this encounter. Gilas Pilipinas assisted on 21 of their 41 field goals and forced 22 Indian turnovers, which were converted into 26 points-off-turnovers.

Game Hero: When Terrence Romeo is on-target, he is a tough man to stop. He scored 20 points in 20 minutes here, hitting 3 triples on top of 4 assists, 3 steals, and 3 rebounds. His production will be crucial moving forward for the Philippines, and it will be interesting to see if he can sustain this high level of play in the Quarter-Finals and beyond.

The Bottom Line: The Philippines were hoping to follow up their rousing win over Iran yesterday with another statement game, and that’s just what they did. Now they are at first place in their group and are awaiting the results of Group F to see whom they will face on Thursday. India, meanwhile, fell short of sweeping the second round, but their performance was good enough to hand them a berth in the Quarter-Finals This is marked improvement for the team, who are hoping to still make a splash in the latter rounds.