It was a shacky start for Smart Gilas Philippines in the first half, having trailed Syria by 9 points 23-32 at halftime. Mainly due to the foul trouble of Douthit. Things were different in the second half, as the Philippines put on the pressure as it won 75-52 to end its 2nd round in the 26th FIBA Asia Championship.
With its win the Smart Gilas Pilipinas is 2nd in its bracket, the Philippines will now face Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals.
In a way, it was good that Smart Gilas Pilipinas were not able to show their usual form and true strength against Syria, with the Taiwanese - in full fource in the scouting gallery.
"I deliberately not put in that much Jimmy Alapag and Kelly Williams in the first half as I calculated some things. We missed lot of shots and it was good we're able to turn things around in the second half," said Smart Gilas coach Rajko Toroman.
"And it's now the deciding games. We're looking forward to play Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals. We know it's not going to be easy but we're optimistic," Toroman also said.
The knockout quarterfinals are set on Friday.