The Gilas cadets emerged victorious in a hard-fought battle against and experienced Indonesian side, 72-64 to capture the 2015 Southeast Asian Games men’s basketball gold medal Monday night in front of a boisterous crowd at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.
It was the 17th overall gold medal for the Philippines which failed to snatch the first-place finish only once in 18 appearances.
Mac Belo led the nationals with 22 points, scoring crucial baskets that stymied the Indonesian run in the second half. Troy Rsario added 12 points and 5 boards while Kiefer Ravena chipped in 11 points.
The Philippines led by as much as 18 points in the first after a dominant display inside the paint, and carried a 39-26 advantage to the second half before the Indonesians leaned on Mario Wuysang’s heroics to claw back.
A triple by Wuysang capped a 9-1 run which made it 40-35, before a triple by Almond Vosotros later on gave Gilas more cushion at 46-37.
Belo then scored 6 towards the end of the third quarter to push the lead to 58-47 entering the payoff period, but another 9-1 rally from Indonesia pulled them to within 3, 56-59.
The opposing side went on a dreaded zone which slowed down Gilas, as the latter was unable to counter the defense without shooters.
A steal by Ravena however that led to a slam and a basket by Rosario later gave Gilas the 63-56 edge and from there held on defensively to capture the gold.
Photo by SINGOC