THE unstoppable machine that is Gilas Pilipinas churned out another easy win in the Southeast Asian Basketball (SEABA) Men’s Championship last night, casting aside Vietnam, 107-52.
The win was the fifth in as many games for the Philippine men’s basketball team and kept it on track of winning the regional title with one more day of competition left.
Gilas briefly trailed Vietnam, 5-4, to start the game but eventually shed the cobwebs to sprint to a 28-16 first-quarter lead.
The second quarter saw Gilas building on its cushion with Matthew Wright, Troy Rosario and Calvin Abueva at the forefront.
Gilas finished the opening half with a 53-29 advantage.
In the third period, the nationals blew the game wide open, producing a 36-point quarter while limiting Vietnam to just 11 points to bury the latter, 89-40.
Gilas slowed down offensively in the fourth period following a fiery third quarter but was still stingy on the defensive end to close out things and seal the win.
Mr. Wright was the high point man for Gilas with 19 points followed by Mr. Abueva and Raymond Almazan with 16 each.
Mr. Rosario finished with 12 points.
Nguyen Thanh Nhan led Vietnam with 11 markers.
“We had a rough start to this game but overall it was a good overall effort by the players,“said Gilas coach Chot Reyes following their win.
Incidentally, Gilas just played 11 players, opting to rest naturalized player Andray Blatche.
The Philippines faces off with also-unscathed team Indonesia (5-0) today in what is the de facto finals game of the Men’s Championship. The winner of the game earns a ticket to the FIBA Asia Cup later this year.
Vietnam (1-4), meanwhile, plays its last game of the tournament against Singapore (1-4).