GILAS Pilipinas dominated anew in its third game in the ongoing 2017 Southeast Asian Basketball Men’s Championship, beating Malaysia, 106-51, in the nightcap on Day 3 yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Much like in their first two games in the regional basketball tournament, the Gilas players used a strong start to the game and never looked back.
Malaysia scored the first two points of the contest but Gilas went on a 13-0 blitz after which it used as springboard to go on to claim the first period, 36-17.
In the second quarter, the Philippines jacked up its defense, holding down the Malaysians to just nine points to more than double their lead, 61-26, at the halfway juncture of the contest.
Gilas started the third period slow but would eventually pick it up on both ends of the court to further bury its opponent, 88-35.
The Philippines remained business-like in the final canto, going through their set plays and taking the fight to the Malaysians en route to the victory.
Naturalized player Andray Blatche and Troy Rosario top-scored for Gilas with 13 points apiece.
Matthew Wright and Terrence Romeo chipped in 12 each while Jayson Castro and RR Pogoy tallied 10 each of their own.
Heng Yee Tong led Malaysia with 12 points.
“We had to be patient and disciplined in this game because we knew they (Malaysia) would hold the ball on us,” said Gilas coach Chot Reyes after the win.
“We are looking forward to our next game but we are not looking beyond it. We’re taking it a game at a time,” he added.
The win improved the Philippines to 3-0, joint first with Indonesia, which outlasted Thailand, 60-59, earlier in the day to join Gilas as the only teams left sans a loss in the weeklong tournament, which serves as a qualifier for the FIBA Asia Cup later this year.
Gilas Pilipinas takes a break from the action today before returning tomorrow against Thailand.