By Norielle Pastor

PHOTO: Philippine Star

After dropping their first game against Lebanon, Gilas Pilipinas roared back big time after routing India, 101-59, to secure a ticket to the quarterfinals of the FIBA Asia Cup 2022 held in Indonesia, Friday.

The Chot Reyes-led squad stepped up the pace in the second quarter, dismantling the Indians' interior defense by passing excellently, extending their big lead, and never looking back.

William Navarro carried the load in scoring to finish with 18 points, while Japan B-League recruit Thirdy Ravena chipped in 17.

Despite getting low exposure in the first game, NCAA MVP Rhenz Abando and rising prospect Francis Lopez displayed their high-flying athleticism and all-around game as they combined for 18 points and 3 steals that paved the way for Gilas to maintain their lead.

Both teams suffered a sluggish start in the first frame until India's star Prince opened up the scoring with an emphatic one-hand dunk, but was easily countered with Lopez's tomahawk dunk on the other end.

With a minute left tied at 13 apiece, Thirdy Ravena relied on his quickness in the fastbreak to bag a seven-point advantage going into the second quarter, 20-13.

Gilas continued their aggressive drives in the paint to ride on a comfortable 30-18 lead and never showed any signs of slowing down leading to an eventual blowout to finish the game, 101-59.

With the win, the Philippines now has a 1-1 record in their group with New Zealand and Lebanon.

Their next assignment will be tougher than expected as they'll face New Zealand who is having a strong outing in the tournament.

Edited by Kyla Balatbat