FIBA Asia Cup: Second half surge sees Gilas Pilipinas past Iraq, 84-68

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(CNN Philippines) — Gilas Pilipinas maintained their perfect start at the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup after dismantling Iraq, 84-68, in day two of the competition at the Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex in Beirut on Friday evening.

Terrence Romeo paced the Filipinos with 17 markers, while Christian Standhardinger delivered 16 points and seven rebounds of his own.

A lackluster first half saw the Philippines cradle a precarious 32-31 advantage into the halftime break.

Whatever was said in the Philippine dugout clearly worked, as the Filipinos immediately clamped down on their opposition in the third quarter.

Gilas went on a tear in the third frame, which included a 21-0 rally, to give the Philippines a sizable 60-40 spread before the payoff period.

There was no looking back for the Philippines, as they quelled every fightback attempt that their Iraqi counterparts could muster.

Naturalized cager Kevin Galloway led the way for Iraq with 23 points and 14 rebounds.

The victory over Iraq gifted the Philippines the top seed in Group B, which assures them of a spot in quarterfinals of the tournament.

The Philippines will wrap up their Group Phase portion of the FIBA Asia Cup against Qatar on Sunday.