Sans a cheering home crowd, Team Pilipinas still took care of business as it recovered from a 17-point deficit en route to a 92-81 victory over Qatar in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualfiers last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Filipinos unleashed a blistering 28-12 rally in the crucial third period to turn a 39-52 halftime deficit to a 67-64 lead entering the fourth quarter.
That served as the deciding turn for Team Pilipinas as it gained complete control.
At one point, the Nationals pad the lead to as many as 16 points, 80-76, en route to an easy win.
With this victory, Team Pilipinas barged back into the win column following a 73-81 loss to Iran last Thursday in Tehran.
More importantly, the Filipinos solidified their hold on the third spot with a 5-3 slate behind Australia (7-1) and Iran (6-2).
The win also extended the Philippines’ gap from trailing teams Japan (4-4), Kazakhstan (3-5) and Qatar (2-6).
All 12 players of head coach Yeng Guiao scored in the big win led by Japeth Aguilar and Alex Cabagnot with 16 points apiece.
Stanley Pringle and Beau Belga also racked up double digits with 13 and 11 points, respectively.