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32nd SEA Games

MVP on Gilas loss to Cambodia: ‘SBP, what happened?’

Gilas Pilipinas suffered the program’s worst loss in the Southeast Asian Games on Thursday, absorbing a 79-68 loss to Cambodia in the pool phase.

In the history of the regional meet, the Philippines has only a handful of times in the SEA Games with the most memorable ones being a 101-96 loss to Malaysia back on November 25, 1977,  an 87-82 loss to Malaysia in 1979, a 77-76 loss to Malaysia back on December 9, 1981, a 107-99 loss to Malaysia back on August 22, 1989, and an 85-81 loss to Indonesia back on May 22, 2022.

Beyond those losses, the Philippines were virtually untouchable in the SEA Games.

But definitely, the rest of the country’s neighbors are catching up with the ASEAN’s gold standard in basketball — by any means necessary.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Manny V. Pangilinan went to Twitter after the game to express his disappointment with the downfall of the program.

Cambodia, whose best finish in the SEA Games is fifth-place back in 2007, fielded multiple naturalized players for the tournament, namely Dwayne Morgan, Sayeed Pridgett, Brandon Peterson, Darrin Dorsey, Oscar Lopes, and Darius Henderson.

And the six did all the damage to Gilas on both ends, leading to a 79-68 win for the hosts.

Pangilinan knows that the opposition will be much tougher in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

Still, the redemption campaign in this tournament is still not over for Gilas, needing just a win over lowly Singapore to advance to the crossover semifinals where they will likely meet either defending champion Indonesia or Thailand.

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For sure, Pangilinan is hoping that his tweet will light a fire under Chot Reyes and Gilas.

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