In the rematch of the 2015 SEA Games semifinals, Gilas Pilipinas once again figured in a dogfight with Thailand, barely edging out the Thais, 82-74, Sunday evening at the MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The Philippines is now 1-0 in Group A of the nine-team, two pool tournament.
Troy Rosario powered Gilas with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Christian Standhardinger, who had just arrived from Beirut, Lebanon last Friday, added 15 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
And Gilas needed to make the game dirty, as the match was still knotted at 71-all with 4:19 left. Prior to this play, Ray Parks Jr. had been able to draw the fifth foul of Thai-American Tyler Lamb, who finished the game with 17 points.
With Lamb out, Kiefer Ravena was able to score four straight points for the Philippines, while Baser Amer, who was struggling to find his touch, knocked down a pull-up jumper with 2:50 left to help Gilas pull away, 77-71.
Three free throws by Chanachon Klahan sliced the lead to just three, but he missed a wide-open triple that would have tied the game. Baser Amer was able to find Standhardiner underneath, while free throws by Parks Jr. and Standhardinger sealed the win.
Even if he played the role of lockdown defender, Parks, Jr. managed to finish with 14 points as well to go along with four steals. Ravena added 11 points, while Amer dished out 10 assists.
The Philippines missed 11 of their 26 free throws, but were able to negate it by forcing the Thais to commit 23 turnovers that led to 29 points.
Kannut Samerjai added 12 points for Thailand.
Gilas will next face Myanmar on Tuesday, August 22, at 6:00pm.
Gilas Pilipinas 81 – Rosario 16, Standhardinger 15, Parks 14, Ravena 11, Tolomia 8, Amer 6, Jose 6, Vosotros 3, Ferrer 2, Paras 0, Pessumal 0.
Thailand 74 – Lamb 17, Samerjai 12, Ananti 11, P. Klahan 10, Jakrawan 9, C. Klahan 5, Apiromvilaichai 4, Kruatiwa 4, Chanthachon 2, Ghogar 0, Lakhan 0, Muangboon 0.
Quarterscores: 22-12, 36-34, 60-59, 81-74.
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