QF-bound Gilas Pilipinas out to sweep Group B

Paul Lintag, ABS-CBN Sports

Posted at Aug 13 2017 01:30 PM

Jiovani Jalalon tries to retrieve the ball from the out zone during a FIBA AsiaCup 2017 group match against China, in the Lebanese town of Zouk Mikael north of Beirut on August 9, 2017. Joseph Eid, AFP

After two sensational victories, Gilas Pilipinas has officially clinched the no. 1 spot in Group B of the 2017 FIBA-Asia Cup.

That means, the Philippines is already assured of an automatic quarterfinal berth with a game to spare.

With that being said, Gilas Pilipinas will hope to sustain its momentum going into the knockout playoff stage as the nationals wrap up preliminary play against Qatar Sunday at Beirut.

Already out of contention following two straight defeats to Iraq and China, Qatar is out to spoil the party for Gilas that is looking to march on with an undefeated record.

Starting FIBA-Asia play with a bummer against Iraq, Qatar played defending champion China tough in the first half before succumbing to a superior force in the second.

That should be a little cause of concern for Gilas who almost blew away a 17-point lead over the Chinese and needed one whole half to figure out the pesky Iraqis.

The Philippines-Iraq matchup to wrap Group B play is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Sunday.

This article originally appeared on the ABS-CBN Sports website.