Gilas Pilipinas takes on tough Iraq for Group B lead

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After a smashing win over defending champion China, Gilas Pilipinas takes on another formidable foe in Iraq.

Like Gilas, the Iraqis also won their opening game against Qatar.

The Philippines, along with Iraq are on top of Group B with identical 1-0 records. China and Qatar bring up the rear with 0-1.

A win over the West Asian team will assure Gilas of a spot in the 2nd round. Another win over Qatar in the last day for the Group Phase will give the Philippine team a seat in the Quarterfinals. Aside from an outright quartefinal ticket, an added bonus is being able to avoid an early clash with either Australia or New Zealand.

Beating Iraq won’t come easy though as evidenced by their 75-66 win over Qatar.

Gilas, composed mostly of cadets and reinforced by American Mike Myers, defeated Iraq 84-75, in a hotly-contested, tension-filled match in the 39th William Jones Cup held in Taiwan.

The Iraqis have since revamped their roster and replaced their naturalized player. Taking over Demar Mayfield is Kevin Galloway, who led the team with 18 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals in their opening day win.

Game time is 9:00pm Manila time at the Nouhad Nawfal Stadium in Beirut, Lebanon. – Mae Villarin