The Philippines kept its reign as kings of Southeast Asian basketball following a 115-81 decimation of Thailand in the 30th SEA Games basketball final Tuesday night at Mall of Asia Arena.
The country has now won its 13th straight gold medal in men’s hoops, increasing its record collection to 18.
With this, the Filipino dribblers have completed a sweep of all the four cage events of this year’s regional meet as the country also lorded over the 3×3 tilt as well as the women’s side.
“Twenty years ago, I was able to win a bronze. But nothing compares to winning a gold,” said coach Tim Cone, who won a bronze as coach of the PBA Centennial Team in the 1998 Asian Games as t
“It’s been such a great experience being around these guys. They’re such wonderful gentlemen. Great players, great on and off the court,” added the PBA’s winningest mentor with 21 titles.
Star center June Mar Fajardo set the pace for Gilas with a double-double 17 points and 13 rebounds in the win that gave him and seven other players their first-ever SEA Games gold.
“Sobrang saya. Sobrang blessed kami na binigyan kami ni God ng opportunity na makakuha ng gold so sobrang happy ko na nakakuha ako ng gold,” said the PBA’s reigning five-time MVP.
Fajardo produced nine of his points in the third quarter, where Gilas turned the match into a one-sided show as it unloaded 10 straight points to a 58-39 advantage with 7:27 on the clock.
The hosts erupted for 40 big points in the third canto alone. Gilas also used a clinical third quarter en route to beating the Rajko Toroman-mentored Indonesia that sent them to the final.
Gilas would lead by as many as 39 points, 104-65, following a Vic Manuel bucket with 4:47 left to play.
“We were talking about that, like, there’s something about us and third quarters,” said floor general Chris Ross. “I don’t know if our nerves kinda calm down, or we’re like, ‘Alright, come on let’s play.'”
Christian Standhardinger made 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Nationals. LA Tenorio produced 16 points as well, while Manuel and Matthew Wright chimed in 14 markers apiece.
Kiefer Ravena added 10 markers in the victory that gave him his fifth straight SEA Games gold medal.
“It’s a bit more special siyempre dahil unang-una, dito nangyari sa Manila,” said the 26-year-old, who wasn’t even part of the initial pool for the meet until veteran guard Jayson Castro got injured.
Thailand was led by Tyler Lamb, who finished 33 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two steals, and a block.
Philippines 115 –– Fajardo 17, Tenorio 16, Standhardinger 16, Wright 14, Manuel 14, Pringle 13, Ravena 10, Ross 8, Lassiter 3, Aguilar 2, Rosario 2, Slaughter 0.
Thailand 81 — Lamb 33, Jakrawan 15, Suttisin 7, Leelapipatikul 7, Chanthacon 6, Jaisanuk 6, Muangboon 3, Chungyampin 2, Klahan 1, Langsui 1, Ananti 0, Apiromvilaichai 0.
Quarterscores: 25-17, 48-39, 88-54, 115-81.