Just a week ago, it seemed like the Philippines was ready to return to its place as Asian basketball's best.
Instead, all Gilas Pilipinas will be doing in the next few days is going back to the drawing board.
South Korea defeated the Philippines 118-86 in the quarterfinals of the FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut, Lebanon on Wednesday, cutting short what once was a promising start in this tournament by the Filipinos.
The Koreans ran circles around Gilas Pilipinas at Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex. They were more precise in their shooting and more clinical in their execution.
In short, they were much better. Like video-game better.
After being down by double digits early, the Philippines made it a game in the second quarter.
Behind a team-high 22 points and 6 3-pointers by an unconscious Terrence Romeo — all scored in the second — the Philippines finished the half trailing by just 57-49.
But a one-man show couldn't cut it against a buzzsaw of a Korean team.
Korea outscored Gilas, 29-13, to stretch the lead to 86-62 making the fourth quarter a mere formality.
In the end, the Koreans assisted on 34 of 44 field goals, a testament to how well-orchestrated their offense was.
Gilas shot a respectable 45% from the field (34 of 75), but Korea was on a whole different level, converting a scorching 67% from the floor on 44-of-66 shooting.
But the most mind-boggling stat is this — Korea knocked down 16-of-21 3-pointers for 76%, much higher than its conversion rate for 2s (62%).
In any other game, the Philippines' 11-of-25 clip from downtown (44%) would translate to a win.
Against Korea, it was of little consequence.
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