Games Saturday 5 p.m. - Qatar vs Japan 7 p.m. - Smart-Gilas vs Lebanon
Smart-Gilas Pilipinas subdued Iran-B, 79-67, on Friday to advance into the semifinals of the 2010 FIBA-Asia Stankovic Cup at the Ghazir Stadium in Beirut, Lebanon. Forward Mac Baracael led the Nationals with 18 points while Chris Tiu contributed 15 points. Marcio Lassiter and JV Casio added 14 apiece while PBA veteran Asi Taulava had 10. The Nationals face Lebanon Saturday night. Lebanon crushed Kazakhstan in their quarterfinal match, 101-50. In other quarterfinal matches, Japan eliminated defending champion Jordan, 94-80; and Qatar edged Chinese Taipei, 86-78, to arrange the other Final Four playoff. Protecting a 51-49 lead entering the fourth quarter, the Nationals relied on the hot shooting of Casio and Tiu, who combined for 21 points in the final canto. Tiu's three-pointer capped a blistering 20-8 run by Smart-Gilas that gave them a comfortable 71-57 advantage with 3:33 left in the game. Casio's three free throws put the Nationals ahead by 15 points, 75-60 with a minute left to play. Iran-B got 24 points and 11 rebounds from 6-foot-10 Asghar Kardoust, one of five players who are members of Iran's team A which is preparing for this month's FIBA World Championships in Turkey. Smart-Gilas, however, faces an uphill battle against a Lebanon team that beat them, 74-59, last week. "Lebanon beat Kazakhstan by a 51-point difference. They are really good," Smart-Gilas coach Rajko Toroman said. "We have to stop their fast break attack so we have to change our defense. It depends on who will be their point guard in the game. Also, we have to stop the inside play of (forward) Fadi El-Khatib. That is the most important thing," Toroman said. "But we are playing good. If our outside shooting will work, we have a chance," added Toroman.