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Gilas guns for outright KO entry vs Iraq

MANILA, Philippines - Gilas Pilipinas rides the crest of its stirring 96-87 conquest of old nemesis China Wednesday as it tangles with a tall, rugged Iraq side tonight, shooting for an outright knockout-round entry in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut, Lebanon.

The Filipinos and the Iraqis are both off to a triumphant start in the tourney with Team Phl pulling off a shocker against titleholder China and Iraq creating some ripple on its 75-66 shellacking of Qatar.

Raymond Almazan of Gilas Pilipinas. FIBA photo
They square off at 4 p.m. (9 p.m. in Manila) at the Nouhad Nawfal Sports Complex with the winner automatically claiming a berth in the next phase of the 12-day, 16-nation meet.

The team that ends up with a clean slate – or the Group B winner on Sunday – automatically makes the Final Eight.

From being the underdogs against the Chinese, the Nationals will now enjoy the billing as favorites against the Iraq team that the Gilas cadets handled easily in their matchup in the recent Jones Cup in Taipei.

Author: Nelson Beltran
Full Article: http://www.philstar.com/sports/2017/08/11/1727704/gilas-guns-outright-ko-entry-vs-iraq

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