Gilas Pilipinas ran roughshod over Indonesia, 21-11, to sweep their way into the 32nd Southeast Asian Games men’s 3×3 semifinals, Saturday evening at the Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Lervin Flores starred in the triumph with a game-high nine points, including the game-clinching layup off a drive with 3:03 left to play. The Filipino dribblers clinched the no. 1 seed in Pool A with an immaculate 3-0 record.
Almond Vosotros delivered five points, Joseph Sedurifa made four, while Joseph Eriobu added three for the PBA 3×3-backed squad.
The Philippines has beaten its opponents in the ongoing competitions by an average of 11.3 points.
Gilas began its title reclamation bid with a harsh 21-5 beatdown of Laos, and then followed it up with a 21-13 conquest of Vietnam.
Then came the 10-point victory over the Indonesians, who dealt one of the Philippines’ early losses in last year’s halfcourt competition. That saw the country’s reign end at the hands of eventual champs Thailand in the semis.
Now, this current Philippine team mentored by Lester Del Rosario could avenge their predecessors as they will be taking on the Thais in the semis.
Banking heavily on familiarity, Thailand is running it back with the same pieces that took home the gold medal last year in Vietnam – namely Freddie Lish, Moses Morgan, Antonio Price, and top big man Chanatip Jakrawan.
The squad, however, suffered a shock 21-18 loss to Cambodia earlier in the day, but bounced back with a comeback win over Malaysia, 21-19.
Thailand would then maul Singapore, 22-12, for their most convincing win yet, but more importantly, clinched the second seed in Pool B to reach the semis.
Men’s semis play will be on Sunday, with Pool B’s top dog Cambodia (3-0) and the Vietnamese (2-1) duking it out in the other bracket.