MANILA, Philippines — As expected, Gilas Pilipinas zipped past Myanmar in what could be its biggest blowout win so far, 136-67, for their third straight win in as many games to finish tops in Group A in Men’s Basketball of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
It was the biggest winning margin so far for Gilas and even in the entire tournament of SEAG at 69 points, eclipsing even the total output of the opposition.
And faced with the smaller opposition, National team head coach Tim Cone even had the luxury of not fielding in his big men in Stanley Pringle and June Mar Fajardo, who powered the Nationals with 23 points and 12 rebounds in a 110-69 drubbing of Vietnam Friday night.
And while Gilas’ big men were warming their soles on the bench, it was time for Team PH’s deadshot swingmen in Matthew Wright and Marcio Lassiter to strike and strike hard.
The two wowed the partisan crowd as Wright and Lassiter were seemingly out on a shooting exhibition especially in the second quarter on which Gilas virtually had the game decided at halftime, 77-36, anchored on eight triples between them in the second quarter.
Wright led the way with 29 points while Vic Manuel had 24 points and 11 rebounds. Lassiter finished with 15 points all coming from beyond the arch.
The next assignment for coach Tim Cone and the gritty squad is the No. 2 team in the other bracket (B), Indonesia (2-1) in the knockout semifinals on Monday night.
The Indonesians, mentored by former Gilas mentor Rajko Toroman, ended their Group B campaign right behind unblemished Thailand, 3-0.
The 69-point rout by the Philippines with Myanmar was only the second time the two countries played in the SEA Games after six years.
Powered by young amateurs then, PH also prevailed over Myanmar, 118-43, in the 2013 SEAG edition. (IAMIGO/CNS)